Back in August, Wisconsin’s Montee Ball was attacked and concussed by three men who had jumped him late at night. While Ball does not even remember the attack — he doesn’t even know why he was targeted — needless to say that is not how he intended to begin his final season in Madison.
Especially having earned a trip to New York City as one of five Heisman Trophy finalists as a junior.
Fast-forward to December, and the Badgers are back in the Rose Bowl. However, the program is the first in the history of the prestigious game to earn a berth despite accumulating five losses in the regular season. A lot of that had to do with Ball’s slow start to his senior year as he dealt with the aftereffects of the attack.
On Wednesday, two of the three men involved in the assault plead guilty to substantial battery, a felony that carries a maximum of 18 months in prison.
However, because Wendell J. Venerable, 21, and Robert A. Wilks, 22, plead guilty, in all likelihood the two will be avoiding jail time. Dane County Judge Rebecca St. John placed them in a first offenders program.
“This gives you an opportunity to get the support and services you need to avoid coming back into the criminal justice system,” she told both men, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.
The details of the plea were not disclosed. Generally, such a plea and placement in the first offenders program means that defendants meet requirements such as going to a class, paying restitution, doing community service and getting needed treatment.
Ball himself has not commented yet, but his father, Montee Ball Sr., was relieved to be moving past such a horrific event.
“We just wanted to say that we hope that by accepting the plea it’s to get the help that these individuals need,” Ball Sr. said.
No parent wants to receive a terrifying phone call late in the night regarding an attack and being told that one’s son had been injured.
“The last thing you want to hear is that something has happened to one of your children,” he said.
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