Relatively speaking, the expected didn’t take long.
This morning, reports surfaced that Marshall running back Steward Butler had been arrested and charged with battery in connection to the beating of a same-sex couple. Butler allegedly became angry after witnessing the couple kissing.
Shortly after reports of the early April attack surfaced, Butler was indefinitely suspended from all team activities. Roughly two hours later, in a statement attributed to athletic director Mike Hamrick, Butler is gone entirely.
Head Coach Doc Holliday and I have decided to dismiss running back Steward Butler from our program in light of additional information regarding his charges.
What the additional information is that surfaced is unclear. What is clear is that, based on a statement from the university’s president, Butler wasn’t long for the football program.
In that statement, interim president Gary White described the incident as “violent, bigoted behavior” and that “the entire university is shocked and disappointed” over the details that were known at the time.
As previously noted, the charges Butler is facing are misdemeanors, although there could be federal issues as it pertains to the player violating the couple’s civil rights. The Huntington Police Department turned over evidence related to the case to the FBI, which will determine whether federal charges are in order.
Football-wise, it’s a blow to Holliday’s team as Butler, a senior, has been the Herd’s second-leading rusher each of the past three seasons.