The agent for former Arizona State football star Terrell Suggs said an altercation his client was involved in Saturday afternoon should not affect his status for the NFL draft next month.
Suggs has been projected as high as the No. 3 overall pick.
"I don't think it should hurt it at all," Gary Wichard said Sunday. "He was attacked by someone with a steel rod. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't let someone whip me in the back of the head. What Terrell did was defend himself."
According to Wichard, Suggs said he went to pick up a cousin who was participating in a three-on-three basketball tournament at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
During the game words had been exchanged between Suggs' cousin and an opponent. The jawing continued and Suggs tried to be a peacemaker, Wichard said.
"He turns to leave with his cousin and he gets attacked," Wichard said. The assailant hit Suggs in the back of the head with the rod, Wichard said. Suggs wasn't knocked unconscious. He scuffled with the individual and was able to disarm him, Wichard said.
Wichard said a Phoenix police officer told him that witnesses backed Suggs’ claim that he was struck first.
Phoenix police Sgt. Lauri Williams said detectives interviewed the other party in the fight on Sunday.
The people detectives interviewed, who were not named, were cooperative, but police have yet to hear Suggs' side of the story, Williams said.
"They're just giving their version of the fight," Williams said. "We need to get everybody's story."
Apparently Suggs knew the other people in the fight.
Williams added that it is not yet clear whether Suggs broke any law. She declined to give any details about the fight, citing the ongoing investigation.
"We're still trying to piece it together," Williams said.
Suggs is to visit with Phoenix police today, Wichard said. An attorney probably won't accompany him.
"All Terrell has to do is explain what happened to him," Wichard said. "The only reason Terrell would have an attorney is if we decide to press charges for being attacked with a weapon."
Wichard said the fight shouldn't be a character issue for NFL general managers and coaches.
"If I'm (a GM) I'd check into the guy's past. I'd talk to people who really know him," Wichard said. "You don't look at headlines. You look at facts.
"You can't say Terrell was out at 2 or 3 in the morning at a nightclub, getting drunked up. He wasn't at a place where he shouldn't be. This is at 1 p.m. and at a three-on-three tournament; he was just there to pick up one of the participants." Wichard said Suggs’ mother, Lavern, was with her son when he was treated in a hospital emergency room.
Suggs still had a headache when Wichard spoke briefly with him Sunday.
"He tried to downplay how he was feeling (Saturday)," the Los Angeles-area-based agent said. "I definitely know he was hurting."
Suggs had been training for the NFL draft in the L.A. area until returning to Tempe for a workout for NFL scouts on Wednesday.
After a somewhat disappointing performance, he said he intended to spend the remaining pre-draft time in the Valley resting.