GREELEY, Colo. – In a scenario reminiscent of Tonya Harding Nancy Kerrigan, the backup punter at Northern Colorado has been accused of stabbing his rival in the leg â€” his kicking leg.
Mitch Cozad, a sophomore from Wheatland, Wyo., allegedly attacked Rafael Mendoza in a parking lot this week. Arrested on a charge of second-degree assault, Cozad was freed Wednesday on a $30,000 bond.
Mendoza, who was treated and released at a Greeley hospital, will miss at least Saturday’s game at Texas State.
“I guess the only identified motive (in the attack on Mendoza) at this point in time is the competition for that position,” Evans police Lt. Gary Kessler said.
But Downing wasn’t so sure.
Cozad and Mendoza, a junior from the Denver suburb of Thornton, were competitive, he said, but no more than players at other positions.
“No different than starting quarterback or starting right tackle,” he said. “Everyone was held accountable to the same level.”
Cozad was suspended from the university and the team and was evicted from his dorm room, said director of athletics Jay Hinrichs. Cozad had no listed phone number in Greeley, and a phone message left at his Wyoming address was not immediately returned.
The stabbing took place Monday in Evans, a small town adjacent to Greeley and about 50 miles north of Denver. The Greeley Tribune first reported the story in Wednesday’s editions.
If Cozad did this to win the kicking job, he failed miserably. True friends stab you in the front. (Cue the sarcastic laughter)
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