- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 3, 2009

Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount’s season-long suspension for punching an opponent could be lifted if he meets certain conditions, coach Chip Kelly said.

“It’s not a football decision, it’s a human being decision. It’s about that individual,” Kelly said Friday. “And he’s got a lot of things he’s got to do.”

Blount punched Boise State’s Byron Hout in the aftermath of Oregon’s 19-8, season-opening loss to the Broncos. The suspension banned him from games, but Blount was allowed to remain on scholarship and practice with the team.

Kelly said he set down academic, behavioral and football-related “ladders” that Blount must achieve for possible reinstatement, but he did not provide specifics. Academics could not be addressed earlier because classes had not started.

Blount signed an agreement outlining the requirements last week.

Should Blount meet the conditions, the earliest he could return to the team is Oregon’s Nov. 7 game at Stanford - and there is no guarantee that he would be allowed back at that time, if at all.

BINGHAMTON: The State University of New York is pursuing an independent review of Binghamton University’s athletic program after the dismissals of six basketball team members.

Lois DeFleur, the university’s president, called for the audit after last week’s releases of star basketball player Emanuel “Tiki” Mayben, who’s facing drug charges, and five of his teammates.

SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher said Friday the executive committee of SUNY’s board of trustees will oversee the review. She said she’ll meet with DeFleur next week to discuss details of the audit, which will focus on the program’s compliance with America East and NCAA policies and procedures.

MASSACHUSETTS: Four football players have been suspended from the team following their arrests by Amherst police on drug charges.

The school said the players were suspended for violating team rules.

The players were identified as James Carven, a junior defensive back from Hanover, Mass.; Bob McLaughlin, a junior defensive lineman from Brewster, Mass.; Mike Mele, a junior linebacker from Sea Girt, N.J.; and Shane Viveiros, a sophomore defensive back from Fall River, Mass.

Amherst Police Detective Richard MacLean said the four men were arrested around midnight Friday and charged with possession of a Class B drug. Mele and Viveiros were also charged with misuse of a liquor ID or license.

WINSTON-SALEM: With financial woes ending its bid to join Division I, Winston-Salem State is headed back to its old conference.

The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association’s board of directors voted to let the school back into the Division II league of historically black colleges and universities in time for the 2010-11 academic year.

“We are elated. There are no hard feelings on our part,” said Jimmy Jenkins, president of the CIAA board.

Winston-Salem State left in 2004 with plans to move to the NCAA’s top tier with an invitation to join the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. But the school faced financial difficulties, amassing losses of more than $6 million since.

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