First of all, before getting into the NCAA angle of this situation, a hearty “atta boy!” is in order for Justin Blackmon.
The Oklahoma State wide receiver, arrested on a DUI complaint early Tuesday morning, took ownership of his situation Wednesday afternoon. Sitting in front of the media at the school’s basketball complex, Blackmon admitted he made a mistake, apologized for his actions and vowed to prove he wasn’t “this guy” seen in a mugshot that bounced it’s way across the Internet Tuesday evening.
What a concept, owning up to a mistake. Doesn’t make him eligible for sainthood, doesn’t wash away the fact that he got behind the wheel after consuming alcohol, but it does show the character a lot of people around the program rave about.
There is, however, one question that still lingers from Blackmon’s situation. When pulled over by police for driving 92 mph in a 60 mph zone, Blackmon and a couple of his friends were on their way back from attending the Dallas Cowboys Monday night game against the New York Giants; how did Blackmon and his buddies score tickets?
Tickets to Jerry’s House of Excess are not exactly cheap. In fact, it’s quite the opposite as they’re among the priciest in the league. Given the current situation surrounding the North Carolina football program and multiple players being dismissed/suspended for receiving impermissible benefits, it’s a natural reaction to ask if there was anything untoward about the way Blackmon and his friends acquired their ducats.
Tulsa World asked that very question, and received what appears to be, at least for now, a positive answer. According to the paper, it’s believed the group received tickets from the father of a former Oklahoma State player. Moreover, and citing two unnamed school sources, the paper reports that are confident that no extra-benefit violation occurred.
There’s little doubt that the athletic department, particularly their compliance people, will continue to delve into the ticket aspect of the situation to ensure all the i’s are dotted and t’s crossed, especially in wake of the Dez Bryant situation last year.
It appears for now, though, that the Blackmon situation will begin and end with a young man making a mistake. And owning up to it, then moving on. After serving a one-game suspension, of course.