Rutgers Cans QB After Fight Leaves Man Clinging to Life

School kicks him off the team

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted May 13, 2014 10:58 AM CDT

(Newser) – Rutgers has kicked quarterback Philip Nelson off the team, its head coach announced today, in the wake of a fight that left former Minnesota State linebacker Isaac Kolstad in critical condition with brain damage. The fight occurred outside a bar at around 2am Sunday in Mankato, Minn. Witnesses say Nelson, 20, and Kolstad, 24, got into a "heated" exchange that led to Kolstad punching Nelson in the back. Kolstad moved away, but another man pursued and punched him, knocking him to the ground. Nelson then allegedly kicked Kolstad in the head as he lay unconscious, the Star-Ledger reports.

Police today arrested a second suspect in the case, the AP reports. According to the criminal complaint it's unclear if Kolstad will survive; his family has said publicly that he suffered permanent brain damage. Nelson was released on $20,000 bail last night, leaving jail with a towel over his head. Nelson, a highly-touted recruit, transferred to Rutgers this offseason, after playing two seasons as a starter for the Minnesota Gophers, because he liked the school's pass-centric offense, ESPN explains. He threw for 1,306 yards last year in 11 games.

Philip Nelson leaves the Blue Earth Co jail in Mankato, Minn with a towel on his head after posting bail, May 12, 2014.   (AP Photo/The Star Tribune, Richard Tsong-Taatarii)
Philip Nelson leaves the Blue Earth Co jail in Mankato, Minn with a towel on his head after posting bail, May 12, 2014.   (AP Photo/The Star Tribune, Richard Tsong-Taatarii)
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