STILLWATER — "I made a mistake, and I take full responsibility for it."
Those were Justin Blackmon's first public words after being arrested on suspicion of DUI in Carrolton, Texas, early Tuesday morning. Oklahoma State football coach Mike Gundy has suspended the sophomore receiver for Saturday's game against Kansas State. Blackmon will not travel with the team to Manhattan, Kan., this weekend.
"In our opinion, what he did deserves a suspension for this game," Gundy said. "It was very easy for us. That's a decision he made, and he has to suffer the consequences."
Blackmon was cited for DUI and speeding after being pulled over for going 92 mph in a 60 mph zone on northbound Interstate-35 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Before Tuesday morning's arrest, the former Plainview High star had been cited for speeding twice — once in April 24, 2009, in Oklahoma City for driving 20 to 25 mph over the limit and two months later, June 21, 2009, for driving 93 in a 70 mph zone in Logan County.
"I'm embarrassed to be in this position. I am truly sorry to my family, my friends and Oklahoma State," Blackmon said.
Blackmon spoke with media about the arrest less than 48 hours after being released from jail, an uncommon move for a standout athlete in the college or professional ranks.
Asked why he chose to speak, Blackmon responded: "To prove I'm not that guy and own up to my mistakes. I did it, and I should be punished for it."
Blackmon traveled to Dallas with three passengers to watch the Dallas Cowboys play the New York Giants on Monday night. He declined on Wednesday to discuss how he got the NFL tickets, but OSU officials saw no immediate compliance concerns to how Blackmon secured tickets to the game.
On Tuesday, GoPokes.com reported the passengers with Blackmon were OSU receiver Tracy Moore, cornerback Jarrod Fields and former teammate Taylor Sokolosky. But Gundy declined to talk about other players in the car on Wednesday other than saying nobody else had been suspended.
Blackmon will not answer specific questions about the incident until the legal matter is resolved, but he was arrested for the least serious criminal offense in the state of Texas.
In Texas, driving under the influence, DUI, is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine up to $500 and community service. A peace officer who is arresting a minor for the offense is not required to take the minor into custody. Other Class C misdemeanors include theft of less than $50, park curfews, parking violations and most minor traffic violations.
Gundy, who did not know Blackmon was leaving Oklahoma, reiterated his support of OSU's leading receiver. Gundy called Blackmon "a caring person who has made a mistake."
"It's unfortunate this happened for him, he really is a good person," Gundy said. "I won't have an issue with leaving him with my three sons. I'd let him baby sit in a heartbeat."
It's been a learning experience for Blackmon. He said he has a better understanding of his increased status nationally as the college football's leading receiver and the responsibilities that come with being an OSU football player.
"(I learned) to go with my gut," he said. "I knew I probably shouldn't have done that, it's a game week. Something didn't feel right when we were doing it.
"I look forward to redeeming myself and proving this is not who I am."