Wow. It sounds like you and I remember it exactly the same way...
....you were much closer on the sidelines. I was up in the press box.
I remember when LaVell got on the radio with P.J. for the KSL post-game call-in show...back when callers were not screened by a producer before being put on the air....LaVell made a very (understandably) terse statement that he would have no comment on the incident, and if anyone wanted to call-in and ask about it they should just "save their dime."
Now that you mention it, I do recall that opposing players the next season tried to bait him. I agree also that off the field (I knew him very distantly) he was a gentle giant. Probably many of us...placed in his situation that day...would have snapped as well.