Wisconsin Head Coach Bret Bielema isn't a big fan of distractions surrounding his football team. Previous history tells us that when a disturbing incident occurs that effects the nature of the Badger football program, Bielema has no issue removing the 'problem.'
Ball will not be disciplined by Bielema.
So when Bielema met with Senior Running Back Montee Ball following his assault, he was very upfront with his star running back, but came to the conclusion that Ball is still a player that belongs in a Badger uniform.
“I sat down with Montee after I became aware of it. I just assured him, he needs to sit here and tell me exactly what happened, and if I found out there was any indication he was involved in it, I would have handled it just like anyone else," Bielema said Monday after Wisconsin's first fall practice of the season.
"I told the team last night, if anyone has any indication of what I will or will not do, go back to my personal record when I threw my two starting safeties off the program for some things that I felt very strongly about and didn’t blink an eye.
"I don’t have any problems handling it."
Ball, who is still experiencing symptoms from his concussion, won't participate in practice this week, but will be allowed to do some conditioning.
Bielema says Ball should be ready come Wisconsin's season opener against Northern Iowa.
“Montee is currently unable to participate," he said. "Basically the effect of the concussion, we’re taking things extremely slow. (He) won’t be involved in anything this week, except for some conditioning.
"Next week, hopefully integrate him in some things, non contact. Hopefully the two weeks into it, get him involved in practices. We should have him there for game day, game week."
Bielema would like Ball to perform better in social environments.
Ball's physical health may be on the fast track to recovery, but emotionally could be another concern.
After a TMZ report stated Ball may have played a part in a fight leading up to his assault, Ball has not only had to deal with the assault itself, but defending his name and reputation as well.
Bielema says the assault was quite the eye-opener for his star running back.
“Emotionally, I saw him the day after it happened, I think there’s a lot of things running through his head," said Bielema. "Anytime a situation happens like that, you realize how fragile everything is.
“You’re dealing with a young man who’s got a lot of things on his plate, that feels very strongly that he didn’t have involvement. I don’t think people should quote TMZ as a news source from what I’ve seen.
"I do think that Montee feels very strongly that he wasn’t involved anyway, shape, or form, and he’s never given me any indication to think otherwise."
This is now Ball's second run in with the law this off-season. Earlier this summer, Ball was arrested for trespassing at the Mifflin Street Block Party.
Bielema says Ball needs to learn how to handle social environments, being the most recognized person around campus.
“I’ve known Montee for a long time," Bielema said. "Obviously I’m not a social friend of his. I’m his coach and I’ve been around his family. I don’t know how many people were arrested at Mifflin, hundreds or whatever it was. He happened to be one of them.
"There’s a story and an explanation to why that happened and something that was very believable. Here’s a guy, a senior at the University of Wisconsin. My guess is, out of all the seniors, there’s been a few that have been in the bar after two o’clock.
"Obviously no one draws the attention that Montee Ball draws. That’s part of what he probably realizes now. How much potential hate can be driven towards him in a short amount of time, by so many people. That’s a big part."