UPDATE, August 2, at 1:25 p.m. ET
TMZ is reporting that the beating may be retaliation for an earlier fight at a football player's house, and that Ball may have participated in the earlier fight. It's worth noting that TMZ's not reporting that as fact, but a possibility based on what police are reportedly hearing. So many grains of salt here, but it's one theory evidently going around.
Ball, for what it's worth, is having none of this.
The report that I was involved in a fight is totally false.— Montee Ball (@M_Ball28) August 2, 2012
Montee Ball's at least doing all right enough to reassure everyone that he'll be fine. Here's a message he posted to Twitter an hour after the report of his attack came out:
I appreciate the support and thank you for the concerns.I will be okay! See you guys in September!#WiscONsin— Montee Ball (@M_Ball28) August 1, 2012
- End of Update -
Scary news out of Madison, Wis., as Montee Ball was attacked and briefly hospitalized after what police are describing as an "unprovoked attack" on the All-American running back early Wednesday morning.
"My concern right now is for Montee's health and well-being," said Bret Bielema in a statement released by Wisconsin athletics Wednesday. "Montee has been released from the hospital and is under the care and supervision of our sports medicine staff. 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."
Here's a link to the police report, and it sounds no less than awful. Ball was reportedly jumped by five unidentified men, knocked down and kicked repeatedly. He was taken to the hospital with head injuries, but as Bielema noted in his statement, he has already been released.
That's incredibly fortunate news, since anything serious related to skull and brain health usually merits a much longer hospital stay than a few hours.
This is a developing situation, to say the least, and it'll be interesting to see what the final diagnosis is on the extent of Ball's injuries and if this affects him going into fall camp or even the season, exactly one month away.
We're happy to hear his injuries weren't worse, because when it's five-on-one out of nowhere, usually the intent is worse than a brief visit to the hospital.
We're also beyond disgusted that this type of thing would happen to someone who's by all accounts a good kid, regardless of how prominent a football player he is. With any luck or justice, he'll be fully healthy and unaffected by Week 1, and we'll just get past this.
And if Ball and the police could get some answers as to why this attack happened and who did it, well, that'd be even better.