BY DAILY SPORTS EDITOR DAN FELDMAN
and Managing Editor Gabe Nelson
Published October 15, 2008
LSA senior Mike Milano, a redshirt junior running back on the University’s football team, was suspended from the team Wednesday, with the University’s Department of Public Safety investigating an assault in which Milano is a suspect, according to multiple sources.
People with knowledge of the situation said Milano was involved in an incident near East Quad early Sunday morning that left LSA junior Steve Kampfer with severe head injuries. Kampfer is a defenseman on the Michigan hockey team.
Michigan hockey coach Red Berenson said yesterday that Kampfer sustained "a serious fractured skull, right down the back of the skull." The injury will keep him off the roster for at least eight to ten weeks, Berenson said.
Dave Ablauf, a spokesman for the Michigan football team, said Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez suspended Milano "indefinitely." The walk-on running back left Schembechler Hall wearing street clothes Wednesday afternoon shortly before the Michigan football team began practice.
Athletic Department officials declined to elaborate on the reason for the suspension, but acknowledged that it was related to a University Police investigation.
"Coach Rodriguez at this time cannot comment because it is an ongoing investigation," Ablauf said.
Sources have tied Kampfer to an incident that took place near the intersection of Church and Willard Streets.
University Police Lieutenant Robert Neumann said Tuesday that a victim was picked up and “body-slammed” to the ground. Neumann said police have a suspect, whom he described as a 22-year-old male University student from Ohio.
Because the assault is still under investigation and police have not yet arrested a suspect, police would not release the names of the victim and suspects.
Milano, 22, is from Rocky River, Ohio, according to the Athletic Department’s website.
An eyewitness to the incident said Kampfer wasn’t moving after being slammed to the ground and appeared to be unconscious. He was hospitalized after the incident.
Kampfer watched the hockey team practice Wednesday, wearing a neck brace while sitting in the bleachers at Yost Ice Arena. Berenson said it was the first time he had seen Kampfer since visiting him in the hospital soon after the injury occurred.
Kampfer will wear the neck brace for at least eight weeks, Berenson said. After that, the decision will be made whether Kampfer will begin rehab or continue wearing the neck brace.
A fourth-round NHL draft pick of the Anaheim Ducks, Kampfer has one year of eligibility remaining after this season. Berenson said he is unsure if Kampfer will apply for a medical redshirt to regain another year of eligibility.
"It's too early to say," Berenson said. "We could redshirt him, but we wouldn't discuss it until after eight to 10 weeks."
Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Diane Brown said police continue to investigate the case and have not submitted an arrest warrant for a suspect. She urged anyone with information about the incident to contact University Police by calling (734) 763-1131 or e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Daily Sports Writer Gjon Juncaj and Daily News Editor Kelly Fraser contributed to this report.