In his first public comments since being the victim of a late-night shooting April 5, Northern Illinois linebacker Devon Butler confirmed Friday afternoon his injuries were life threatening and will prevent him from playing during the Huskies' 2011 football season.
"I want to thank the doctors and nurses of both Kishwaukee Hospital and OSF Saint Anthony Hospital," said Butler, who will use his redshirt this fall. "I owe them my life. ... They are truly life savers."
During the 15-minute news conference, Butler reiterated he had no involvement in or knowledge of the April 5 drug deal that resulted in the off-campus shooting. NIU coach Dave Doeren, who sat to Butler's left during the news conference, said Butler suffered a collapsed lung. Butler will have to do breathing exercises with a machine, but he said he currently doesn't have much more rehab.
Butler's family watched the news conference from the back of McCareins Auditorium on the second floor of the Yordon Center. NIU athletic director Jeff Compher was also in attendance.
Compher said he has gone through similar situations as Butler's shooting at other universities in the past. Doeren said it was his first time he'd ever had one of his players critically injured from a gunshot.
"This is a first, and I hope the last," Doeren said.
For more information on Devon Butler's comments Friday, read tomorrow's edition of the Daily Chronicle.