EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Oregon suspended running back LeGarrette Blount on Friday for the remainder of season for punching Boise State defensive end Byron Hout.
"After watching the incident, I knew right away what I wanted to do," head coach Chip Kelly told a press conference Friday.
As Boise State began celebrating on their famous blue turf, Hout yelled in Blount's face and tapped him on the shoulder pad. Before Broncos head coach Chris Petersen could pull Hout away, Blount landed a right to Hout's jaw, knocking him to his knees.
Blount also had to be restrained by police officers from fans heckling him on the way to the locker room after No. 16 Oregon's 19-8 loss Thursday to the No. 14 Broncos. | Video of Blount punching Boise State player
Blount's suspension includes any bowl games. Kelly said Blount will remain on scholarship.
Chip Kelly, head football coach for the University of Oregon: 'He cried, I cried'
"I have suspended LeGarrette Blount for the season."
"It is my belief and this university's belief that playing football at the University of Oregon is a privilege and with that privilege goes responsibility."
"LeGarrette Blount will still be on our team, LeGarrette Blount will just not play for us on Saturdays."
"LeGarrette Blount needs this football program, he needs structure. I think he's taking this very hard He knows he's made a mistake and We're not going to throw LB out on the street."
"I love LeGarrette Blount. What I told LeGarrette Blount when we met together is that I don't want people to see the LeGarrette Blount they saw last night. That moment last night will not define him as a person."
"We're going to make sure that LeGarrette Blount gets a degree."
"LeGarrette Blount won't just be a YouTube clip of this what happened to him on Sept. 3 in Boise, Idaho. There's a lot more to LeGarrette Blount."
Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott was at the game and saw the
"We commend the University of Oregon and its leadership for taking swift and decisive action in response to this incident," Scott said in a statement. "The Pac-10 strongly emphasizes sportsmanship and fair play in all its athletic competitions and
Hout will not be suspended for taunting Blount. Boise State spokesman Max Corbet told The Associated Press in an e-mail that Petersen planned to spend time with Hout this week to help him learn from what happened.
Mike Bellotti, who stepped aside as head coach to become Oregon's athletic director this summer, said the Pac-10 was consulted about the punishment and supported Oregon's decision.
After the game, Blount apologized for his actions.
"It was just something that I shouldn't have done," said Blount, who had eight carries for a loss of five yards. "I lost my head."
Regardless, Oregon University president Richard Lariviere called Blount's behavior "reprehensible."
"We do not and will not tolerate the actions that were taken by our player. Oregon's loyal fans expect and deserve better," Lariviere said in a statement. "The University of Oregon Athletics Department is reviewing the situation and will take appropriate action, reflecting the seriousness of the player's behavior."
In February, Blount was suspended indefinitely from the team for "failure to fulfill team obligations." Bellotti did not share any details, elaborate at the time, but Blount reportedly missed offseason team meetings.
He was reinstated before spring practice.
Blount, a 6-foot-2, 240-pound transfer from East Mississippi CC, rushed for 1,002 yards and a school-record 17 touchdowns last season.
(Copyright 2009 The Associated Press)