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NIU Releases Devon Butler After Shooting, Stabbing Incidents

NIU Linebacker Devon Butler

Devon Butler. (Credit: CBS)

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By Adam Hoge-

(CBS) Northern Illinois linebacker Devon Butler will not return to the Huskies this season.

Head coach Dave Doeren made the announcement Wednesday, three days after Butler was stabbed at an off-campus party.

“Devon has not lived up to the standards we set for members of the Northern Illinois football team,” Doeren said in a statement. “At this time, we feel it is in the best interest of both Devon and of our football program for him to make a fresh start at another institution.”

Reports indicate Butler was stabbed early Sunday morning by Freddy E. Sparks-Ward, who was kicked out the party earlier in the night after a fight. Sparks-Ward returned to the party and stabbed Butler in an altercation. He was not injured seriously.

The latest incident comes just 15 months after Butler was shot and missed the entire 2011 season. The linebacker was visiting friends who had bought marijuana earlier in the day but did not pay the drug dealer. Reports say the dealers returned to the apartment and opened fire.

Butler was a key player for the Huskies in 2010, starting 13 games and racking up 80 tackles and eight tackles for loss. He was likely to re-gain his starting spot this season.

The NIU release says “Butler’s departure is based on many factors and is not the result of any single action or incident.”