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Northern Illinois releases Devon Butler

By Tom Fornelli | College Football Writer

Northern Illinois has granted linebacker Devon Butler a release from the team the school announced in a release on Wednesday.

“Devon has not lived up to the standards we set for members of the Northern Illinois football team,” said coach Dave Doeren in the release. “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.”

The statement says that Butler was not released from the program for one specific reason, but Butler has run into plenty of problems off the field.

Butler missed the entire 2011 season after being shot in a drug deal gone wrong. Butler had been visiting the apartment of friends who had recently bought marijuana from a drug dealer but did not pay him. The two men who sold Butler's friends the drugs then returned to the apartment and opened fire, hitting Butler.

Then, over the weekend, Butler was stabbed in the chest following a fight at an off-campus party. Freddy E. Sparks-Ward had been kicked out of the party but returned and got into an altercation with Butler before stabbing him.

Sparks-Ward has since been arrested.

Butler last played in 2010 when he started all 13 games for the Huskies at middle linebacker, making 80 tackles and 4.5 sacks.

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