Monday, February 13, 2012

MSU's Xavier Blount May Be Out Rest of the Year

An already bad second half for Montana State got a little bit worse over the weekend. The Bozeman Chronicle reported that junior wing Xavier Blount was involved in an altercation outside of a bar on Saturday night, and had to be hospitalized.

Blount, a junior from Virginia Beach, Va., was taken to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital with shoulder and facial injuries, his stepfather told the, Chronicle.

The injuries were not life threatening, Bozeman police officer Jonathan Barge said Monday morning.

In a statement released Monday, MSU sports information director Bill Lamberty said the injuries were “severe” and that they may end Blount’s season.
Many things come to mind after something like this, but the first is the wish for a speedy and full recovery for Blount. You obviously never like to hear about a guy getting sent to the hospital with neck and facial injuries.

The second thought that comes to mind is a hope that Blount (and others) learn from this incident. Off the court, Blount got charged with disorderly conduct and minor in possession. He also obviously has to deal with the injuries, and hopefully they won't cause any long-term damage. On the court, at the very minimum it appears that his junior season is over. It wouldn't be a surprise to see further ramifications from this.

MSU Athletic Director Peter Fields said (via the Bozeman Chronicle), “We are cooperating as Bozeman and Montana State University police and the MSU Dean of Students Office investigate this matter. The behavior alleged is unacceptable. We will not stand for it and will deal with it in an appropriate manner through our Student Code of Conduct and Student-Athlete Code of Conduct.”

These types of incidents are a black mark to the university in general and to the basketball program in specific. Charles Barkley doesn't like athletes being role models, but the fact is that when a lot of people think about Montana State, the first thing that comes to mind is the athletes. They are ambassadors of the university, and they are people that kids in the community look up to. It is more than a little disconcerting when something like this happens.

The third thought is that this is a big blow to the MSU basketball team. Blount was the team's leading scorer and arguably their best player. For a team on a five game losing streak and struggling for their Big Sky lives, this is a back-breaker. Their depth was already being tested by the removal of Jamie Stewart from the team due to academic issues, and they will be even thinner going forward.

Just a sad situation all-around.

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