Montee Ball, Wisconsin’s star running back and a Heisman Trophy finalist last year, was the victim of what police say was an “unprovoked assault” by five men as he walked down University Avenue in Madison, Wis., early Wednesday morning.
Ball was treated at a hospital for head injuries suffered when the men knocked him to the ground and began kicking him at around 2:15 a.m., according to the police report. ESPN reports that Ball may have suffered a concussion.
“My concern right now is for Montee’s health and well-being. Montee has been released from the hospital and is under the care and supervision of our sports medicine staff,” Wisconsin Coach Bret Bielema said in a statement released by the school. “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.”
The report indicates that “it does not appear [Ball] knew his attackers.”
Ball, the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year in 2011, rushed for 1,923 yards and set an NCAA record with 33 touchdowns on 307 carries.
Ball tweeted an update on his condition late this morning:
I appreciate the support and thank you for the concerns.I will be okay! See you guys in September!— Montee Ball (@M_Ball28) August 1, 2012
At Big Ten media day Friday, he discussed his increased visibility. “A lot of people notice me now,” he said (via JSOnline). “Before they didn’t know who I was outside of my football gear. Now they know immediately… It’s something you have to deal with. I’m living my life in a fish bowl…But it is something that is worth it. As a player, you’ve got to deal with it.”