Blount suspended for season

Daniel Bachhuber

Oregon head football coach Chip Kelly announced today that senior running back LaGarrette Blount is suspended from the team for the remainder of the 2009 season for his involvement in the post-game incident last night in Boise, Idaho.

Kelly said Blount will stay with the Duck football team and remain on scholarship for the duration of the school year. “It’s a privilege to play football for the University of Oregon,” Kelly said. “But what he did was unacceptable.”

“He will be on the team, he just won’t play on Saturdays,” Kelly continued. “Blount needs the team and structure and we won’t just throw him out on the street.”

Kelly met with Athletic Director Mike Bellotti and University President Richard Lariviere prior to today’s press conference to decide what sort of punishment Blount should receive.

“Obviously I’m disappointed,” Bellotti said. “There is no excuse for what happened and we all feel very badly that it did happen.”

Bellotti also said he spoke with Pacific-10 Conference Commissioner Larry Scott about the situation, and Bellotti felt that the season-long suspension probably exceeded their expectations.

While Kelly and Bellotti were both upset by the situation, each are focused on getting Blount through the next year successfully.

“What we need to do now is twofold. First, we go out and play. Second, Blount makes a positive and graduates,” Bellotti said. “We don’t feel he deserves to represent Oregon football on the field, but we want to provide him with all the support he needs to move on with his life.”

“It’s a tough time for him right now,” Kelly concluded. “It’s our job to help him move forward right now as a person. It’s 10 percent what happened, and 90 percent how you respond.”

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