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CHAMPAIGN — Illinois sophomore linebacker Martez Wilson was the victim of a stabbing early Friday, The News-Gazette has learned.
Wilson, 19, was in stable condition at Carle Foundation Hospital on Friday, according to Kent Brown, University of Illinois sports information director.
Brown declined to say what caused the injury or what kind of injury it was. He said Illinois football coach Ron Zook was returning from out-of-town recruiting but was aware of the situation. Zook has not issued a statement.
Wilson, who was on the preseason Butkus Award watch list, finished the season third on the team in tackles. He missed the final season game against Northwestern for violation of team rules.
As a high school senior at Chicago Simeon, Wilson was considered one of the nation’s elite recruits. He picked Illinois over Notre Dame, Southern Cal, Ohio State, Florida and others.
Police are investigating a stabbing at a campus bar early Friday, but refused to say if the victim was Wilson.
Champaign police were sent to a report of a fight in progress at FuBar, 306 E. Green St., C, about 2:04 a.m., according to Lt. Joe Gallo. When they arrived, people had already had begun to disperse, he said. No suspects were found at the scene.
About 40 minutes later, officers were sent to a local hospital regarding a stabbing victim from FuBar, according to Gallo.
Investigation showed there was an argument between a group of men. When the victim went to assist another man being surrounded by a group of other men, he was stabbed, Gallo said.
One witness reported not seeing the actual stabbing, but only noticed the victim fall down, he said.
Anyone with information about the stabbing is urged to call Crimestoppers at 373-TIPS (373-8477).
Anonymous information can also be sent at www.373tips.com on the Internet or by sending an anonymous cell phone text with Tip397 plus the information to CRIMES (274637). Tips to Crimestoppers by any of those methods will be confidential. Tip providers neither have to give their names nor testify in court.
Crimestoppers will pay a reward for information that leads to an arrest for this incident. Cash rewards also are paid for information on other felony crimes or fugitives in the Champaign County area.
Illinois football beat writer Bob Asmussen contributed to this report.