Senior running back Montee Ball will not be ready for the start of preseason football camp on Monday, University of Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema said on Thursday morning during a taping of the show "Sidelines," at the WISC-TV studios.

Ball suffered a concussion on Wednesday morning in what Madison police called an "unprovoked assault." According to witnesses, five men attacked Ball while he was walking in the 500 block of University Avenue.

Bielema gave no indication Ball would have any long-term issues and said the situation would provide at least two benefits: It would give the other running backs more snaps in practice, while giving Bielema a chance to limit Ball's exposure to hits -- which is something Bielema was looking to do anyway.

Running back is one of the deepest positions on the team. Junior James White is the backup, and even though he missed the end of spring practices with a minor knee injury, coaches are looking for ways to get him on the field.

The same goes for redshirt freshman Melvin Gordon, who Ball predicted has a chance to be a great player.

"He's going to be a great player," Ball said last week in Chicago. "I told him that about 21/2 to 3 weeks ago. I talked to him and I was like, 'If you stay focused and study the playbook and actually dive all of the way into what the coaches are telling you, you're going to be an unbelievable player.' "

Sophomore Jeff Lewis, who was slowed in the spring by a hamstring injury, and freshman Vonte Jackson, who enrolled early and is returning from a torn ACL suffered a year ago, are also in the crowded backfield position.

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Booke
Booke

Everyone is forgetting Ball's arrest at Mifflin. It's not just being in the wrong place at the wrong time anymore.. These attackers more than likely were getting retribution. People need to remember that is our tax paying dollars that are finding Ball's late night partying. Bench him... Play the freshman!!!

madmax40
madmax40

Ball was detained with 500 other people at mifflin. He admitted he should not have gone to the event as I'm sure the other 500 people probably wish they also should have stayed home. A TICKET IS NOT AN ISSUE.

Getting jumped walking home whether it's 2pm or 2am IS AN ISSUE!!! So are you saying just because he parties he deserves to be benched? IF SO, THEN YOU BETTER BENCH THE WHOLE TEAM BECAUSE IF YOU BELIEVE THE FRESHMAN AREN'T PARTYING YOU ARE EITHER VERY OLD OR VERY NAIVE!!!!

madmax40
madmax40

Ball was detained at Mifflin with 500 other people and students. He admitted he should have never went to the block party in which 500 others were detained. Getting a ticket is not an issue!! Getting jumped by 5 people whether it's at 2pm or 2am is however an ISSUE!! If you think we should bench him because of his partying then we should probably bench the entire team! You are either OLD or NAIVE if you think he is the only player partying including the freshman! And as for your tax paying dollars..... I think game day Saturdays pay for plenty in Madtown!

seamus
seamus

According to NBC reports, Madison police have said the five assailants were Black males.

Do you think maybe this incident will make Madison responsive to the alarming rate of crime in this city perpetrated by young Black men?

Dazshand
Dazshand

To the advice givers, try to remember what it was like to be a young person. He was out with friends on a wed night during the off season, not an uncommon occurance for any youth in America. You don't blame the victim, you try to catch the guilty. I would be more interested in a debate about how to make that area more safe. More cameras would be a good start, and does anyone know the weapons limits of bouncers in the area?

midwest1
midwest1

How many teams are there in the NFL? How many players want to get in? He isn't just any youth, he has a goal and talent that can let him achieve it, and I hope he does. There have been lots of young men who have come through Madison that have not achieved all they hoped because they let partying get in the way. People who follow local athletes careers know who they are without me dropping their names. I'm not going to make money off this guy, won't get famous because I know him, or be a hanger on in his life. But those people who are in such a positions to need to be parental toward him. If his parents aren't in the area then it falls to his coaches to explain how he jeopardizes his potential career.

Dazshand
Dazshand

You mean to tell me that you expect every person with Talent and Opportunity to be home in bed my midnight? He wasn't out being irresponsible, he was jumped.

NORTHBADGER
NORTHBADGER

Montee, Johnny Jolly is on the phone, something about don't screw it up! Nothing good happens after midnite.

midwest1
midwest1

This is meant parentally. The incident as reporated on the Madison Police reports. happened at 2:15 AM. http://www.cityofmadison.com/incidentReports/incidentDetail.cfm?id=13553. Unprovoked it may have been, but if Ball wants that career after college he thinks he should have then someone had better give him some advice about how to spend his time.

pony
pony

agree