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Rutgers Dismisses QB Nelson From Football Program In Wake Of Assault Charges

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MANKATO, Minn. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Rutgers announced Tuesday that it has dismissed quarterback Philip Nelson from its football program after he was charged in connection with an assault that left another man critically injured in Minnesota.

Head football coach Kyle Flood made the announcement Tuesday in a statement.

Nelson is a former quarterback for Minnesota. He announced after last season he would transfer to Rutgers.

The 20-year-old was charged Monday with two counts of felony assault in connection with a weekend fight that left another man severely injured. Authorities say Nelson kicked 24-year-old Isaac Dallas Kolstad in the head after another man punched Kolstad as bars were closing early Sunday in downtown Mankato.

The incident was captured on surveillance cameras.

“Nelson pushes past others, approaches I.K. and delivers at least one kick to the left side of I.K.’s head,” a criminal complaint reads. “Sergeant Knutson noted that the video clearly shows that I.K. was defenseless as Nelson delivers the kick or kicks to the head.”

Nelson’s attorney has said his client was not the aggressor and that it’s not clear who caused Kolstad’s injuries.

Nelson was released from jail Monday on bail. He did not immediately return a message left Tuesday by The Associated Press seeking comment.

Flood expressed Rutgers’ support for the victim.

“The Rutgers football family’s thoughts and prayers are with Isaac Kolstad and his family,” he said in announcing Nelson’s dismissal. The school had no additional comment.

Authorities confirmed Tuesday that a second suspect has been arrested in the case. There were no immediate details, and police said they planned to issue an updated news release Tuesday.

The complaint against Nelson said witnesses described him as being upset over attention being paid to his girlfriend.

Nelson was a top recruit when he came out of Mankato West as the state’s Mr. Football in 2011, and spent much of his first two seasons as the Gophers’ starter. He played in 11 games last season, but announced afterward that he would transfer to Rutgers and what he said was a more pass-friendly offense. He threw for 1,306 yards, nine touchdowns and six interceptions last season and ran for 364 yards.

Nelson would have had two seasons of eligibility left after sitting out next season.

Kolstad played at Mankato East and spent two seasons at North Dakota State before finishing his career at Minnesota State.

His family members issued a statement Monday saying they appreciated the support they have received.

“We feel it — Isaac feels it — and we cannot express how important and helpful that has been,” the statement said.

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(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)