In October, a player he considered to be like a little brother — ex-UConn teammate Jasper Howard — was fatally stabbed on campus. As you’d imagine, it had a profound affect on Butler, and there’s some evidence there to the right.
This morning, some PR people sent me a link to Butler’s brand new Web site, and that led me back to his Twitter page (he actually has two). On there, an entry with a link to this picture reads: Memorial piece for my lil brother Jazz.
Look closely, and you can the UConn uniform, the number “6” and the dates of Howard’s birth and death, along with an “R.I.P.” I spoke with Butler about six weeks later about how he handled it, in the wake of Chris Henry’s death, and here’s what he told me:
“Football can be an outlet for it, but you can’t really forget about
it. It’s tough, and it’s gonna be tough for a while, especially being
surrounded by it like that team will be, with his locker still there
and stuff. It’s tough. I know every person deals with it differently.”