Philip Nelson Dismissed From Rutgers Football Team

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

As more details have emerged and actual charges filed things are not looking any better for former Gopher starting quarterback, Philip Nelson.

Officially Nelson has been charged with first and third degree assault following an altercation with Isaac Kolstad on Saturday night in Mankato.  Nelson's contribution to the altercation is allegedly kicking an unconscious Kolstad in the head.

Now, a 24-year-old father is in grave condition with a fractured skull and swollen brain. Doctors are unsure if Isaac Kolstad will survive and, if so, the extent of the brain damage he suffered.

Former University of Minnesota starting quarterback Philip Nelson, 20, stands charged with first- and third-degree assault, facing up to 20 years in prison for allegedly kicking Kolstad in the head.

And police are searching for a third man in his 20s wearing a torn red shirt, seen on city surveillance cameras delivering a punch that witnesses say seemed to knock out Kolstad before his head crashed loudly against the street and Nelson allegedly kicked the left side of his skull "like a soccer ball."

"You have some decisions that were made by some individuals that probably had some impaired thinking and those decisions will affect many lives for years to come," said Patrick McDermott, assistant Blue Earth County attorney.

The second suspect has now been arrested in the incident. Another young man who is allegedly responsible for knocking Kolstad unconscious in the first place.

A second arrest has been made, along with former Minnesota Gophers football player Philip Nelson, in a near-deadly attack over the weekend in Mankato on a Minnesota State, Mankato, football player, police said Tuesday.

"We have taken a suspect into custody," said city spokeswoman Shelly Schulz, who added that more information about the arrest would be released later Tuesday.

Kolstad is in critical condition and fighting for his life.  This from the family's caringbridge.org site.

Isaac suffered a severe head injury early in the morning on 5/11/14. He is currently in Critical condition and fighting for his life. He is young and strong, but the battle he has in front of him is enormous. We do not yet know the full extent of his injuries. He is very sick. Please pray for Isaac and all of those involved.
The Kolstad's

With all of this information at hand, Rutgers was finally ready to make a decision on the future of their relationship with Philip Nelson.  Today they released a statement that Nelson has been dismissed from the football team.

The release from Rutgers really isn't surprising at this point.  That athletic department has been through a lot in the past couple years, they certainly don't need this kind of publicity for a kid who only has 2 years to contribute.  This is a pretty easy situation for them to quickly rid themselves of.

Isaac Kolstad, is fighting for his life.  I appears as though he made some poor decisions in this altercation as well, but it is tragic that life as he knew it will likely never be the same.  Just incredibly tragic.

For Philip Nelson?  It is really easy to arm-chair this situation and suggest that maybe he should have just walked away.  Clearly this split-second decision to respond is life-altering for him.  His football career is very likely over and that is absolutely the least important aspect of this entire saga.

More details are sure to follow and we'll do our best to keep on top of them.

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