Boise State Coach Defends Decision Not To Suspend Hout

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

Boise State coach Chris Petersen defended his decision not to suspend Byron Hout for his taunting that led to LeGarrette Blount's punch after the No. 14 Broncos' victory over Oregon on Thursday.

On a Western Athletic Conference teleconference Monday, Petersen said the defensive end is being disciplined for yelling in Blount's face and slapping him on the shoulder pad. But Petersen added he believes "we've done the right thing" in not suspending him for any games.

"I do think Byron is being disciplined, there is no question about that," Petersen said. "It was the wrong thing to do to say anything to anybody. ... It's something everybody has learned from, in our program and teams from the outside, to say nothing and just play ball."

The Broncos have been criticized for not taking stronger action against Hout and were even questioned by Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott, who was quoted in the New York Times on Sunday as saying, "It takes two to tango. I was concerned about what I heard the Boise State coach say about how it was going to be handled. I'll just leave it at that. I'm not going to second-guess anything that that conference decides to do."

Petersen stood behind the decision.

"We have to do what we feel is right for our kids and our program," he said.

Hout, a sophomore defensive end approached Blount after the final whistle of the Broncos victory, where Blount and the rest of the Ducks offense was surprisingly bottled up by Boise State in its 19-8 victory.

Hout yelled in Blount's face and slapped his shoulder pad. Petersen saw Hout and yelled at him and was trying to pull him away when Blount threw a right-handed punch, hitting Hout square in the jaw and sending him to his knees.

Oregon acted swiftly, suspending Blount for the entire season. Meanwhile, Hout is being disciplined internally. WAC commissioner Karl Benson said Monday the conference was in communication with Boise State about any punishment for Hout and won't take any further action.

"It was a difficult determination to isolate his comments versus what happened afterward," Benson said. "I tried to isolate his comments and tried to use that to determine if he deserved any type of sanction."

Blount called Petersen and Hout over the weekend to apologize.

Benson also admonished the operator of the video board at Bronco Stadium, who replayed repeatedly Blount's punch. That caused Boise State fans to start screaming at Blount as he was leaving the field and led to him trying to enter the stands to go after fans. Blount had to be pulled away by Oregon assistant Scott Frost and a Boise police officer.

"The Boise State replay operated did error egregiously in replaying that play. He was out of line," Benson said.

The postgame incident has dominated the national attention focused on the Broncos and overshadowed a victory that cleared the biggest obstacle between Boise State and another potential run at a BCS bowl game. The Broncos limited Oregon to just 152 total yards and without a first down until midway through the third quarter.

But Petersen said it's become a teaching lesson for his team and has been addressed three different times since Thursday night.

"I would love to be just talking about the game and how guys played and all that," Petersen said. "When something like that happens, no question there is going to be a shadow cast over it."


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