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Former Badgers running back Montee Ball opens up about alcoholism

Ball played in 21 games with the Denver Broncos
Former Badgers running back Montee Ball opens up about alcoholism
Posted at 2:29 PM, Apr 07, 2017

After a dominant career as a running back at the University of Wisconsin, it was always a mystery as to why Montee Ball was unable to put together a sustained NFL career. But following a recent Sporting News' story on the former Badgers star, we may have an answer – Ball is an alcoholic.

In the interview, Ball revealed that he began drinking heavily as a junior in college. Once he got to the NFL, he was regularly drinking four times per week.

The Denver Broncos drafted Ball in the second round of the 2013 draft. He put together a solid rookie season, earning 559 rushing yards on 120 carries and four touchdowns while playing in all 16 games. However, his production slipped in 2014, and Ball was released the following summer.

The New England Patriots picked Ball up in Dec. 2015, but quickly cut him in Feb. 2016 after he was arrested for domestic violence. Ball was arrested twice more in the next 14 months, once for another domestic violence instance and once for violating his bond when he was seen drinking at a bar in Whitewater, Wis.

According to Ball, his life turned around when he found out a past girlfriend was pregnant with his son. Now, he is enrolled at Wisconsin again, taking classes as he pursues his sociology degree, while also undergoing counseling for his alcoholism.

Ball finished his career a Wisconsin with the most rushing touchdowns in NCAA history (he has since been passed by Navy's Keenan Reynolds). Ball won the 2012 Doak Walker award as a senior, given to the best running back in the nation.

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