I shot this portrait of LeGarrette Blount during media day at the University of Oregon. During the short time I had to photograph LeGarrette I found him to be personable, funny and accommodating. He had a great sense of humor and seemed comfortable in front of the camera. Given the circumstances of the shoot, that's actually saying something. When we do this sort of shoot, we are cutting in on their time between duties. In this case, it was after practice during a short break before heading off to do something else. Their time is precious and he was generous with it.
I was also on the field in proximity to Chip Kelly when LeGarrette punched Boise State's Byron Hout in the jaw. Like Kelly, I didn't see the punch but saw the immediate aftermath of the punch when his teammates were trying to calm him down and then as coach Kelly handed him off to coach Frost.
I wish LeGarrette Blount the best and hope he takes his punishment with dignity and fortitude. I believe Oregon is doing the right thing by not sending him home. I believe he'll survive this if he sticks close the people who are care about him.
He managed to make a bad move in the center of a perfect storm of circumstances. His quote in SI, his poor performance, his team's poor performance, national media coverage, a slow sports news day and a new coach's first game all aligned to make his actions seem worse.