Wisconsin running back Ball suffers head injury in attack
Madison, WI, United States (4E Sports) – University of Wisconsin running back Montee Ball suffered a head injury after he was attacked by five unidentified men in a violence-plagued area near campus.
Ball is now being treated by UW sports medicine staff for possible concussion after he suffered a couple of blows to the head during the attack in the 500 block of University Avenue. He was initially treated and released from a local hospital.
“I appreciate the support and thank you for the concerns. I will be OK! See you guys in September!” Ball posted on his Twitter account.
A source close to the family said Ball was with his parents and “feeling a little better” late Wednesday morning.
“We will continue to evaluate him as we approach the start of fall camp this weekend. I do expect Montee to make a full recovery,” UW coach Bret Bielema said in a statement.
The Badgers report for preseason camp on Sunday and begin practice on Monday. UW’s season opener is Sept. 1 against Northern Iowa at Camp Randall Stadium.
According to Madison police spokesman Joel DeSpain, Ball was walking home just behind two friends when he was jumped, knocked to the ground and kicked in the head and torso.
Based on statements from witnesses, police are investigating whether Ball was attacked because of who he is, DeSpain said, adding that it did not appear to be a robbery.
Police are also reviewing surveillance video from cameras in the area and hoping additional witnesses will come forward with more details to help identify the assailants.
“The attackers were last seen running south on North Frances Street toward the Kohl Center,” DeSpain said.
“This is the type of crime that we have been concerned about occurring in that general area,” said DeSpain, adding that it does not appear Ball knew his attackers, and police are investigating the incident as an “unprovoked assault”.
Last weekend, police put extra officers in the area around the 600 block of University Avenue, which has been the scene of a shooting that injured at least three people, stabbings, robberies and fights in recent months.
Last season, Ball tied an NCAA record with 39 touchdowns last season and is considered one of top preseason Heisman Trophy contenders in the nation.
But recently, he was cited for trespassing during the Mifflin Street block party for failing to leave a porch, when apparently asked by the resident of the house. An amateur video showed Ball, in handcuffs, being led away by police