Northern Illinois University football coach Dave Doeren has cancelled all team activities, including Thursday morning's spring practice after an off-campus shooting Tuesday night left junior linebacker Devon Butler in critical condition.
"All our thoughts and prayers as a team and as a coaching staff right now are with Devon," Doeren said in a statement issued by the school. "He's a member of our family and the most important thing is his health."
Butler was shot in an Aspen Court apartment building according to DeKalb police and university officials. He was first taken to Kishwaukee Community Hospital in DeKalb but later airlifted to OSF St. Anthony Hospital in Rockford.
Two NIU students - Mark O. Orozco, 24, and Richard F. Van Arsdale III, 20, both of DeKalb - have been arrested and charged with attempted first-degree murder and aggravated battery with a firearm. They are also facing charges of aggravated discharge of a firearm and unlawful delivery of marijuana.
Doeren, a former Wisconsin assistant who was hired in December to replace Jerry Kill after his departure for Minnesota, was at the hospital with Butler Wednesday and was said to be in close contact with the player's family.
Butler is a communication major and physical education minor from Pembroke Pines, Fla. The 5-foot-11, 222-pounder started 13 of the team's 14 games in his sophomore season for the Huskies and was second on the team with 80 tackles.
NIU Athletic Director Jeff Compher met with the football team Wednesday morning, the school's statement said.
"As an athletic department and as a university, I know that we are going to support Devon, his family and his teammates in every way we can," Compher is quoted as saying in the release. "Our primary focus is on all of our student-athletes at this time."