Montee Ball wants mental health to be a priority for Wisconsin athletes.
The former Wisconsin and NFL running back is starting a fund for Badger athletes to use for mental health and educational support purposes. He told Land of Ten in an interview posted Tuesday that he envisions a scenario where an athlete dealing with an addiction could be helped by the fund.
From his interview with the site:
The Montee Ball Fund has been established to provide mental health in educational services for student-athletes in all sports. So what it’s going to do is it’s going to allow for someone who’s struggling with something to reach out to Kris Eiring, the director of sports psychology. And she’ll be able to direct them in the right direction toward getting help for alcohol or drug addiction or getting help with just understanding some type of mental health barriers they maybe struggle with. So what I have done is opened up a section for them to provide help for anyone who is maybe struggling with an addiction.
Ball says a golf tournament to raise money for the fund will be held on June 15.
Ball himself has dealt with an alcohol addiction. After his NFL career flamed out he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct charges and a battery charge after domestic violence accusations by two girlfriends.
He was sentenced to 60 days in jail after the pleas. Ball then started seeing a mental health and addictions therapist in Wisconsin and told Land of Ten that he’s still sober since he swore off drinking.
Ball scored 77 rushing touchdowns and 83 combined rushing and receiving touchdowns during his four years with the Badgers. His 39 touchdowns in 2011 are still a record (tied with Barry Sanders) and he was the career leader in rushing touchdowns until he was passed by former Navy QB Keenan Reynolds in 2015.
– – – – – – –
Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
More from Yahoo Sports:
• Dan Wetzel: Thanks to Supreme Court, NFL protests won’t matter
• Report: David Tepper to buy Carolina Panthers
• Here’s the reason why no one will beat Golden State
• Battered UFC fighter who wanted to quit match speaks