Montee Ball victim of 'unprovoked assault'

Scary news for the Big Ten's best player, as Wisconsin star running back Montee Ball was the victim of what police are calling an "unprovoked assault" early Wednesday in Madison, Wis.

According to a police incident report, five men jumped Ball around 2:15 a.m. Wednesday, knocked him to the ground and began kicking him. The incident took place a few blocks from Wisconsin's campus, in an area that includes some bars and hotels. Police are investigating the incident only as an "unprovoked assault," not a robbery.

Ball suffered head injuries and was taken to a hospital. He was released later Wednesday morning.

Here's a statement released by Badgers head coach Bret Bielema:

"My concern right now is for Montee's health and well-being. 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."

It's good to hear Ball will recover fully from the attack, and the Big Ten blog wishes him all the best. He earned 2011 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year honors and was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy after rushing for 1,923 yards and an NCAA-record 33 touchdowns on 307 carries.

There aren't many more details at this time about the incident -- whether Ball was alone, whether he was targeted, etc. -- but expect updates later in the day. Stay tuned.