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Rutgers: Nelson dismissed from football program

Rutgers QB Arrested In Alleged Assault

MANKATO, Minn. (AP) -- Rutgers dismissed quarterback Philip Nelson from its football program after he was charged in an assault that left another man critically injured, while authorities announced Tuesday that a second suspect has been arrested.

Rutgers head football coach Kyle Flood announced Nelson's dismissal Tuesday in a statement. Nelson, a high school football star in Mankato, was a quarterback for Minnesota but transferred to Rutgers.

He was charged Monday with two counts of felony assault in a weekend fight that left Isaac Dallas Kolstad, 24, severely injured. Authorities say Nelson, 20, kicked Kolstad in the head after another man punched Kolstad as bars were closing early Sunday in downtown Mankato.

The incident was captured on surveillance cameras, and authorities said Tuesday that they have arrested the man whom they believe punched Kolstad. The 21-year-old man was expected to be charged Wednesday.

Nelson's attorney has said his client was not the aggressor and that it's not clear who caused Kolstad's injuries.

Nelson, who is out of jail on bail, did not immediately return a message left by The Associated Press.

Kolstad's family said on its CaringBridge website that Kolstad had surgery Tuesday morning, which went well, and he was still critical. Kolstad is a former linebacker at Minnesota State, Mankato.

According to the criminal complaint, Nelson was upset after a bouncer at a bar tried to kiss his girlfriend.

The complaint said Nelson and his girlfriend were walking outside when they ran into Kolstad, and the two began arguing.

Kolstad's friend told police that Kolstad hit Nelson in the upper back, and video shows Nelson fell onto the ground. Kolstad was leaving when another man punched Kolstad, knocking him down. After Kolstad was punched, he went limp and collapsed to the pavement, according to the complaint.

Nelson ran to Kolstad, who was "lying on the street and not moving and appeared to be defenseless," the complaint said. Nelson then kicked Kolstad in the head and walked away, the complaint said.

According to the complaint, Nelson told police he did not remember kicking Kolstad in the head.

The complaint said Kolstad's injuries include bleeding of brain, a skull fracture and brain shifting. Preliminary information shows the fracture is on the left side of Kolstad's head, where he was kicked.

Nelson was a top recruit when he came out of Mankato West as the state's Mr. Football in 2011, and spent much of his first two seasons as the Gophers' starter. He played in 11 games last season, but announced afterward that he would transfer to Rutgers and what he said was a more pass-friendly offense. He threw for 1,306 yards, nine touchdowns and six interceptions last season and ran for 364 yards.

Nelson would have had two seasons of eligibility left after sitting out next season.

Kolstad played at Mankato East and spent two seasons at North Dakota State before finishing his career at Minnesota State, Mankato.

Rutgers did not comment beyond the statement from Flood.

"The Rutgers football family's thoughts and prayers are with Isaac Kolstad and his family," the coach said in announcing Nelson's dismissal.

© 2014 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. THIS MATERIAL MAY NOT BE PUBLISHED, BROADCAST, REWRITTEN OR REDISTRIBUTED. Learn more about ourPRIVACY POLICY and TERMS OF USE.

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fullsrvlaw May 14 2014 at 8:25 AM

First, I don't understand why a married man (Kolstad) with one child and one on the way was closing a bar when he should have been at home. Second, Kolstad did throw the first punch, striking Nelson on the upper back. Then, the unknown fighter knocked Kolstad to the ground. At that point, Kolstad was apparently unconscious. Nelson then kicked him in the head. One witness said that Nelson kicked Kolstad's head "as if it were a socker ball." That behaviour, by Nelson, constitutes a felony. Even though he did not start the fight, kicking an injured man who is on the ground is a violent crime.

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4 replies
Bobby May 14 2014 at 10:55 AM

This kid's football days are over. No NFL team will pick him up. He is too much of a liability. As far as employers go...would you hire this animal? I bet not.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
gunthar1 May 14 2014 at 11:01 AM

I wish more collages would dump there garbage instead of sweeping it under the rug or pretend that there stuff doesn't stink.

more now then ever teas boys need to present them selves as good good role models if they cant behave in collage just think what will happen when they are thrown in to the fray with the added gasoline of a high pay check to fuel there bad behavior.

I am not trying to say they need to be perfect but the collages I feel have a responsibility of reinforcing good behavior and casting out though who show they dont have the maturity to act as a responsible adult and not try to hide there problems to hope for a trophy at the end of the season.

there athletics need to be held to the same standards as the rest of the student body and maybe more stringently as they represent the college in public.

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1 reply
lincnman2 gunthar1 May 14 2014 at 11:16 AM

They should have taught grammar a hair better also.....

Flag Reply +2 rate up
boyle1034 May 14 2014 at 11:03 AM

How to go from king of the hill to a man without a country in one night on the town.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
timakagoldman May 14 2014 at 11:04 AM

Alcohol fueled stupidity! as the government wage's its war on Marijuana, go figure.

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1 reply
bbowens8 timakagoldman May 14 2014 at 2:03 PM

The gov does not wage a war against Marijuana, you ned to stop drinking, the President said he felt weed was less dangerous than alchol.

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baldbiker2 May 14 2014 at 11:11 AM

"Alcoholics in the making"

Flag Reply +2 rate up
Gordon May 14 2014 at 11:13 AM

But yet we as a country continue to support the culture that surrounds this sport. I hereby dub this Meatheadism - the great American legacy. Sooo proud.

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1 reply
flyingfortresb17 Gordon May 14 2014 at 11:43 AM

There are a few bad apples in every barrel. The sport is not bad, but badly designed for the players' safety. Of Course you would rather have soccer then go ahead. It is one of the most boring sports in the world. Injuries there have not been tallied yet for concussions and the fans have been cited for hooliganism and rioting in various nations.

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KatyJ000 May 14 2014 at 11:13 AM

Garbage in.....Garbage out

Who in the hell in their "right mind" can kick someone in the head? He's going down for attempted murder and he deserves to

Flag Reply +4 rate up
madcap.1 May 14 2014 at 11:16 AM

i hope that this kid has friends and family members that will see that justice is done.
one way or another

Flag Reply +1 rate up
gway1958 May 14 2014 at 11:20 AM

He must be a tough SOB to kick a guy in the head when he is down...hope they throw his ass in jail.

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1 reply
Dunlop Law Firm gway1958 May 14 2014 at 11:42 AM

No kidding! Great sportsmanlike conduct -- NOT!

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