<
>

Zook: Wilson helping ex-teammate when stabbed

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

More information has emerged about the stabbing of Illinois sophomore linebacker Martez Wilson.

Illinois head coach Ron Zook said Wilson was helping a former teammate after a fight at The FuBar Lounge when he was stabbed twice early Friday. Wilson reportedly underwent surgery following two stab wounds and continues to improve.

"The guy did exactly what I would want him to do," Zook told the Chicago Tribune. "If a person sees a person in stress, he should come to his aid."

Sources have told multiple media outlets that Wilson was trying to help D'Angelo McCray, a former defensive tackle at Illinois who transferred to Eastern Illinois. The Chicago Sun-Times reported McCray was being beaten by 6-8 men when Wilson intervened.

"He shouldn't have been out at 1 a.m.," Zook told the Sun-Times. "But maybe if he hadn't been out at 1 a.m., there would be another incident the police would be concerned about -- like a death. You want your players to help a person in distress. He comes across as being bad. He's being painted as a villain. But he did exactly what you'd want him to do. How do you fault a guy for that?"

Zook added that he would add FuBar to his list of off-limits places for players.

Making all bars off-limits seems extreme and unrealistic, but the coach said he'll think about it.

"Do you tell them they can't go to the bars? That's something we have to visit," Zook said. "If you had your druthers, you don't want them to do anything. Just go to the library, the dorm, work out and watch tape, and that's it. But that's not how it is. I was out at 1 a.m. when I was Tez's age. They're college students.

"I tell my kids all the time, 'Nothing good happens after midnight.' By the same token, Martez did what you'd want a guy to do. I'm not condoning anything that happened. I just know this: If it had been me in distress, I'd have wanted to have Tez close by."

The best news is that Wilson appears to be OK and should make a full recovery.