Today, TMZ reported that Montee Ball may have been involved in a previous altercation in which members of the University of Wisconsin football team assaulted another person. The article cites unspecified law enforcement sources and claims that Ball’s attack may have been a retaliation of this incident.
However, Ball has firmly denied any report claiming he was involved in an altercation that led to him being attacked early Wednesday morning.
He made the following statement on his Twitter.
The report that I was involved in a fight is totally false.— Montee Ball (@M_Ball28) August 2, 2012
ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg reported that Ball was jumped by five unknown men in Madison, Wisc., at 2:15 a.m. on Wednesday. The article quotes Joel DeSpain, the Madison police department’s public information officer, saying, "We believe this is an unprovoked attack. We're trying to determine if this victim was targeted for who he is.”
Rittenberg notes that Ball—a Hesiman Trophy finalist last season—sustained a concussion in the attack and was released after a brief hospital visit.
Ball had a breakout season as a junior, carrying the ball 307 times for 1,923 yards and 33 touchdowns. He helped the Badgers to an 11-win season.
He carried the ball 32 times for 164 yards and touchdown in a thrilling Rose Bowl game, which Wisconsin ultimately lost 45-38 to Oregon.
Shortly after the season ended, Ball opted to remain at Wisconsin for his senior year.
As of now, there is no set date for Ball’s return to the football field, according to Rittenberg. The team will certainly be expected to compete for the Big Ten title this season and Ball’s likely recovery will be vital to its success.