July 28, 2014

Let the Montee Ball incident be a lesson

Wisconsin Badger running back Montee Ball will be with the Badgers when

Montee Ball

they open fall training camp this weekend.  Ball suffered a concussion and facial injuries after being attacked by five men in the early morning hours of Wednesday, August 1.

Fortunately, Ball will make a full recovery and should be ready to go when the Badgers open their season September 1 against Northern Iowa. 

This incident in no way is the fault of Montee Ball, but there can be a lesson learned here.

Ball was a Heisman Trophy finalist last season and he’s one of the favorites to win the award this year.  Montee can’t walk around in a glass bubble all of the time, but he can do a better job of staying away from potential trouble.  And the same goes for his teammates.

Montee Ball tied an NCAA record with 39 touchdowns last season.  Following the Badgers Rose Bowl loss to Oregon, Ball quickly decided to return to Madison for his senior season. 

Things are different in Montee’s world and he has to change the way he goes about his business as a result.  It shouldn’t have to be like that, but that’s the way it works. 

The 500 block of University Avenue is said to be an area of increased crime, an area Madison police are trying to increase their patrols.  What does that mean for Montee Ball?  Stay away, especially at 2:15 in the morning.

Ball may be the best running back in all of college football and following this season, he would appear to be in line to make a lot of money in the NFL.  But he just isn’t going to be able to go unnoticed anymore.

What does that mean?  It means for the next year, Montee Ball has to stop hanging out until the early morning hours.  He should be counting sheep by 2:15am.  I’m sure Bret Bielema and his staff has told the entire Badger team about the things they should stay away from, places not to go to.

This is a lesson nobody should have to learn, but since it happened, let’s try to prevent it from happening again.  I’m not suggesting Montee Ball run and hide.  What I am saying is that the young man has a lot to lose and he needs to keep that in mind. 

It’s difficult, having to avoid the fun of being a college student, but truth be told, Montee Ball is no longer your typical college student.  By now, people in Madison know who he is and what he looks like.  Most of them would be excited to share a moment with the Big Ten star.  Unfortunately, there’s a small percentage that want a piece of him for the wrong reason. 

It might not be fair, but that’s why Montee Ball has to take every precaution and stay out of harms way.