Mother says UO kicker's condition improving after 'horrific' attack

Mother says UO kicker's condition improving after 'horrific' attack »Play Video
Rob Beard made 83 kickoffs for the Ducks last season.

EUGENE, Ore. – The mother of University of Oregon kicker Robert Beard says her son is doing much better Monday after he was severely injured trying to break up a fight near campus over the weekend.

Leslie Beard called the attack "horrific" but said her son is getting better.  Monday afternoon he was awake and could walk, talk and read, although he was still in pain.

Melinda Kletzok, a Eugene police spokeswoman, said the 19-year-old Beard was trying to break up a fight between his friend, fellow UO kicker Mike Bowlin, and several other people. Beard fell to the ground.

Kletzok said someone continued to kick Beard and he was left unconscious. Beard was transported to RiverBend Medical Center early Sunday morning. He is listed in fair condition as of Monday morning. Bowlin was not transported.

Leslie Beard said her son was scheduled for surgery Monday afternoon to repair his broken nose.

She said UO football coaches, players and cheerleaders have been coming to visit Robert all day in a "huge show of support."

Kletzok said police are looking for a suspect, described as a black man wearing a red hooded sweatshirt. The suspect may have fled the scene in a car with Washington plates, Kletzok said.

Beard, a sophomore, made 83 kickoffs during the 2009 Duck football season. | Bio page on