MADISON, Wis. — Five men roughed up star Wisconsin running back Montee Ball near campus early Wednesday, inflicting head injuries serious enough to send him to the hospital, authorities said.
Ball was walking down a street around 2:15 a.m. after “socializing” with friends, police spokesman Joel DeSpain said.
Two friends walking ahead of him turned around and saw Ball on the ground. The men had surrounded him and were kicking him in the head and chest, DeSpain said.
One of his friends and a man across the street moved to help Ball and the attackers fled, DeSpain said.
Witnesses said Ball might have exchanged words with the men before they attacked him, DeSpain said. The motive for the attack remains a mystery. Ball told investigators his cellphone is missing, but it’s unclear whether the attackers stole it or someone just happened to pick it up, DeSpain said.
Ball, a Heisman Trophy finalist last season, was taken to a hospital with head injuries, police said. Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema said Ball was released and under the care of the school’s sports medicine staff.
FLORIDA STATE: Senior cornerback Greg Reid, one of the nation’s top punt returners, was dismissed from the team for a violation of team rules.
The 5-8, 180-pound Reid led the nation in punt returns as a freshman in 2009.
SOUTH CAROLINA: Reserve quarterback Tanner McEvoy was arrested in North Carolina and charged with speeding and driving after consuming while under age 21.
McEvoy was suspended from the team.
IOWA: Coach Kirk Ferentz says sophomore running back De’Andre Johnson was dismissed from the team.
Ferentz suspended Johnson on Sunday after two run-ins with police in the past week.