Illinois sophomore linebacker Martez Wilson was hospitalized after being stabbed during a fight at a Champaign bar, one of Wilson's teammates told ESPN.com.
Wilson was helping a former teammate at 2 a.m. Friday when he was stabbed outside Fubar. But coach Ron Zook said Saturday that Wilson did the right thing.
"The guy did exactly what I would want him to do," Zook said. "If a person sees a person in stress, he should come to his aid."
Wilson is recovering after surgery at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana from two stab wounds in his back.
According to Champaign police, the "victim," known to be Wilson, was assaulted when he allegedly tried to assist another man.
According to Lt. Joe Gallo of the Champaign Police, officers responded to a report of a fight in progress at 2:04 a.m. Friday at the lounge. No suspects or victims were present when police arrived, but officers were summoned to the hospital in reference to a stabbing victim.
Officers were informed that a verbal altercation occurred between a group of males at the bar, Gallo said. The victim allegedly went to assist another male. Being surrounding by the group, the victim was stabbed.
Police were unable to release the identity of the victim, but an Illinois player told ESPN.com it was Wilson.
"He was in a situation, just kind of the wrong place at the wrong time," the player said. "He was just trying to help a friend out and he caught the worst of it."
Wilson's mother, Kyica Burton, was at the hospital Friday afternoon but said she knew little about the incident.
"He is OK, though," she said.
Wilson, a heralded recruit from Chicago, appeared in 11 games this fall and ranked third on the team with 73 tackles. He started seven games at outside linebacker but was suspended for the season finale at Northwestern for an unspecified violation of team rules.
Information from the Associated Press was used in this report