Police: UO football player charged with assault

Police: UO football player charged with assault »Play Video
Matt Simms

EUGENE, Ore. -- University of Oregon football player Matt Simms was arrested on suspicion of assault this past weekend after what police say was a retaliatory attack for a beating that put another football player in the hospital a week earlier.

The incident happened early Saturday morning at 16th Avenue and Mill Street, near campus.

According to police spokeswoman Melinda Kletzok, Simms thought the victim was involved in an altercation a week prior where UO football player Rob Beard was kicked in the face and seriously injured.

Simms was arrested on misdemeanor assault charges and was ordered to appear in Eugene municipal court.

Kletzok did not immediately know the condition of the victim but said based on the severity of the charges against Simms, he likely wasn't badly hurt.

She said while Simms thought the victim was involved in the Beard attack, investigators believe the man actually helped try to break up the fight. That incident left Beard in the hospital with serious facial injuries. He has since been released.

Kirby Hawkins and Maurice Peterson III were arrested for assault in that case.

University of Oregon Athletic Department spokesman Dave Williford said Simms is a walk-on defensive end with the team and said he did not know more specifics about the police investigation. He said head coach Chip Kelly will review the incident, but so far no disciplinary action has been taken.