Newbill cut loose by Marquette

SARAH J. GLOVER / Staff photographer
SARAH J. GLOVER / Staff photographer
Posted: July 01, 2010

Which parties deserve the largest chunks of blame is very much up for debate, but this is not: Devonte' "DJ" Newbill is no longer bound for Marquette to play basketball.

According to Stan Laws, who coached Newbill through most of his senior season last winter at Strawberry Mansion High, a member of Marquette's coaching staff said the school was cutting ties with the 6-4 guard, a first-team Daily News All-City honoree, in a Tuesday phone call.

Newbill signed a national letter of intent in April. He had hoped, Laws said, to arrive on campus July 7 and take some summer classes, while also participating in a local league. Those plans had not been finalized.

Laws said the call came from Scott Monarch, an assistant to head coach Buzz Williams.

"We were talking about lots of things," Laws said, "and he kept reiterating the things that DJ still had to do. It was kind of going in circles. I had the feeling there was something more . . . and there was. He said he thought it would be in DJ's best interest if he went somewhere else."

Laws said Newbill never sent the school an official application, and also did not prepare a required essay. Laws said Newbill did complete the app, but did not forward it because he had yet to finish the essay, and had not been given a deadline.

"I hadn't talked with them in a long time," Newbill said. "Just once or twice since I signed. Then coach Monarch called me maybe 2 weeks ago, talking about the essay and telling me to make sure I took my time to do it right, because it was going to be important. It was going to be why I wanted to go there. How I'd better myself. That kind of stuff.

"I talked to him again [Tuesday]. He didn't say anything about [cutting ties]. That came later when he talked to Stan."

Yesterday, Marquette announced it had added Jamil Wilson, a star from Racine, Wis., who played last year for Oregon. He'll sit out 1 year, as per NCAA rules.

Laws was relieved of his coaching duties late in the season over a flap with the principal, Lois Powell Mondesire. He said his efforts thereafter to assure that school personnel would assist Newbill in dotting i's and crossing t's in preparation for Marquette were hindered by the lingering ill will.

A call to Marquette's basketball office was redirected to the sports information director. A message left for him was not returned.

Williams told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "Through a culmination of several things, we have decided to give DJ Newbill his release. DJ's a great kid. He comes from a great family whom we have established relationships with, and we're going to do everything we can to help him in his future, in whatever capacity that would be."

Said Newbill: "I was mad and hurt when this first happened. Now I'll just go forth with my career somewhere else. Back to the drawing board. I'll have to be careful about what school I pick."

Newbill mentioned Drexel, La Salle and Temple as possible destinations, while adding, "I'm not sure at all what's going to happen. College? Prep school? Just don't know."

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