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Pre-game rant: Oregon thinks about losing its mind; Colorado should lose its AD

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Before the weekend’s action starts up full-steam, I want to take a minute to rant.  If the college football season hadn’t been insane enough, now comes this news out of Eugene: Oregon is thinking about reinstating LeGarrette Blount.  No, there aren’t two LeGarrette Blounts.  Just the one that assaulted a Boise State player after the opening game.

And, yes, it was assault.  It wasn’t like a batter getting hit and charging the mound in the heat of a game.  It wasn’t like a little shoving between two opposing players that escalates into a fight.  There’s a reason why his actions conjured memories of the Pacers-Pistons brawl from a few years ago.  It was the same time of assault.  It was not within the context of game action.  Play had stopped, the player got taunted and they viciously attacked.

If you ask me, Blount shouldn’t be reinstated until he completes anger management classes and probably does a little community service.

But the thing that really concerns me about this is the precedent it sets for schools disciplining their own players.  I had all the respect in the world for Oregon for taking the initiative to suspend him on their own without going through 12 rounds of appeals with the NCAA or the Pac-10.  But what message would it send if they go back on their own punishment and reinstate him?

I’m concerned it would send the message that teams can’t be trusted to discipline their own players.  I’m concerned that the NCAA or the conferences would feel the need to step in and take their own actions to supersede those of the school because they’re concerned the team will declare the player to be a changed man and reinstate him after missing just three or four games.  I know that’s a lot in college football, but it should be a lot when you punch a guy in the face for saying something mean to you and then try to go into the stands after hecklers.

I hope Blount is as changed as they say he is.  But, regardless, he should serve out his suspension.  If he impresses Dungy that much, then maybe he can get an NFL team to buy into him like he did with Vick.  I’m a forgiving person, but I don’t think Blount’s recent changes as a new father are enough to be reinstated for his completely out of control behavior in that game.  This is not something Oregon should even be flirting with.

Speaking of flirting, I think it’s safe to say that all the romance has gone out of Colorado’s relationship with athletic director Mike Bohn.  He’s been on the hot seat with Buffs fans for quite some time, and I’m ready to join the likes of this blogger in calling for Colorado to fire Bohn.

Colorado just lost its second game of the season in which they were forced to travel across multiple time zones on a short week.  The first loss was its second game of the season, when the Buffaloes had to turn around from a Sunday night game and travel across two times zones to play a Thursday night game against Toledo.  And they played exactly like you’d expect a team on that schedule to, allowing 624 yards and 54 points to the Rockets.

Then, tonight, they got trounced by West Virginia.  Yes, on another short week, Colorado had to travel across three time zones.  And don’t be fooled by that relatively small 11-point margin of victory.  West Virginia was in control of the game from early in the third quarter when they took a 21-10 lead.  Colorado lost and was outgained by West Virginia, even with WVU coughing up the ball four times.  Then the Buffs scored a meaningless TD with 3 seconds left to make the game not look like the humiliation it really was.

Now, it’s not to say that Colorado would be good with a different AD.  It’s not to say Dan Hawkins would coach any better with a different AD.  Or that Cody Hawkins would stop throwing so many INTs with a different AD.  But the AD is the man responsible for constructing this horrific schedule that causes his team to fight such uphill battles.

He’s also the one responsible for constructing the contract with Hawkins that included a massive buyout that makes firing him virtually impossible for the university.  I’m not sure what Bohn did in his 18 months at San Diego State that compelled Colorado to sign him to a five-year, $1.25 million deal with up to $100,000 in annual incentives.  But, whatever it was, I think it’s time for him to stop riding that wave as he has clearly shown himself to be a failure at this job.  His contract is up next year, but I think Colorado should just send a message, fire Bohn and look for someone with a little more experience this time.

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Written by Austin Swafford

October 2, 2009 at 2:26 am

Posted in Commentary

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