Rutgers: Nelson dismissed from football program

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 13, 2014 at 4:02 pm •  Published: May 13, 2014
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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.