LAWRENCE, Kan. â€” Justin Blackmon keeps catching passes and turning heads and breaking records and grabbing headlines and humbling defenders and making highlights.
But there's one thing Oklahoma State's superstar receiver isn't doing.
Since an Oct. 27 news conference that followed the day after his arrest on a DUI complaint, Blackmon hasn't been allowed to talk to the media. The team has a rule â€” if you have a run-in with the law, you can't speak on behalf of the program.
He didn't talk to reporters after making 13 catches against Baylor. He didn't after a highlight-worthy 67-yard touchdown at Texas. And he isn't expected to be made available to reporters after today's likely lambasting of Kansas.
It stinks that Blackmon has been banned from talking to the media. He's having a season for the ages. He's doing amazing things every time he steps onto the field. It'd be great to hear from him.
But you know what? I get it.
Not allowing a guy who's been arrested to be one of your team's spokesmen is sound policy.
â€œYou have to have some kind of discipline,â€ defensive back Andrew McGee said. â€œIf you break the rules, regardless of who you are ... â€
He raised a knowing eyebrow.
Everyone understands the score â€” Blackmon is an amazing player, a key cog in this Cowboy offense, a budding national star â€” and it would've been easy for the coaches to bend the policies for him.
That they didn't speaks volumes.
â€œTo see him get in trouble, it was like, â€˜Gawd, we can all get in trouble,'â€ Cowboy quarterback Brandon Weeden said. â€œI think it was more of a wake-up call than anything.â€
But what happens to the interview ban when Blackmon becomes a finalist for a bunch of these national awards? The Biletnikoff? The Walter Camp? The Heisman?
It could happen.
He's leading the nation in every major receiving category. He's had at least 100 yards receiving in every game he's played this season. He's only 242 yards shy of the national record for receiving yards by a sophomore. Blackmon could get that in the first half today at Kansas.
The guy he's chasing?
The former Pitt standout was the last wideout invited to the Heisman ceremony, finishing second to Oklahoma quarterback Jason White in 2003.
Blackmon has a legit shot at being invited to the Heisman ceremony this year. What happens to the media ban if he is? Heck, even if he doesn't end up going to New York, he'll certainly head to Orlando for the college football awards show.
Mike Gundy has said the media ban will end if Blackmon is a finalist any national awards. The Cowboy coach has also said the local media covering the team â€” and providing you, the fans, the bulk of what you read and hear about your team â€” will get to talk with Blackmon before the national media.
It's more sound policy.
At that point, Blackmon's arrest will be almost two months past. The punishment will have fit the crime.
Would it be great if he would do interviews before then? Sure. But just because I dislike the Blackmon ban doesn't mean I disagree with it.