Three men, all 21, have been arrested in connection with the beating of Wisconsin running back and Heisman hopeful Montee Ball. The unprovoked attack occurred on August 1st at around 2:15 A.M. near campus, and left the senior tailback with a concussion.
Wendell J. Venerable, Deonte J. Wilson, and Robert A. Wilks were taken into custody Tuesday and tentatively charged with substantial battery-party to a crime.
According to the police report, Ball was walking down the 500 block of University Ave. when two friends walking ahead of him “turned around and saw him on the ground, surrounded by several men who were kicking him in the head and chest.” The group of men ran away when one of Ball’s friends and a man across the street made a move to come help him.
At the time, police (and Ball) had no idea why he had been jumped. Now, it appears that the attack may have had something to do with a fight involving members of the football team at a UW house party on the night of July 27th — a fight that Ball was not a part of.
About 15 to 20 UW football players, including Ball, attended the party.
A fight broke out during the party and one person went to an area hospital for treatment. The alleged victim never filed a police report.
UW coach Bret Bielema acknowledged during a recent radio appearance with Jim Rome that two UW players were involved in the July fight.
The two players have been dealt with in-house, according to Bielma, and they probably won’t get more than a citation from Madison police, according to the Journal Sentinel.
“Something briefly went down but it didn’t involve Montee in any way,” Bielema said during his appearance on Rome’s show. “Two of my other players were involved and I’ve taken actions with them.”
Ball, meanwhile, carried some anger with him after being jumped, but plans to use that anger to improve upon his impressive 2011 season.
“I obviously still think about it,” Ball said recently when asked about the attack. “But it is most definitely behind me.
“I have no more anger toward the people who did it. I’ll be honest, I did. It was a bad situation. There is nothing I can do about it.
“I’m just going to use the energy from it and use the anger I had from it and channel it onto the field.”
Ball has simultaneously leaned out and bulked up in the offseason, which is bad news for the teams on Wisconsin’s schedule this year. Thanks to a tweaked workout regimen (more cardio, more leg work) and an improved diet (lots of baked potatoes, steak, and vegetables) Ball raised his max squat from 445 to 540, and his two-rep bench press max from 320 to 370.
He missed the first week of preseason camp due to the concussion and bruised jaw he suffered as a result of the attack.