CHAMPAIGN — The Illinois Division of Intercollegiate Athletics has set up a GoFundMe page to help Illinois football player Bobby Roundtree in his recovery from a severe spinal cord injury, with all donations directed into an irrevocable trust established by Illinois coach Lovie Smith.
Roundtree, a junior defensive end from Largo, Fla., was injured during a swimming accident in mid-May. He led the Illini in sacks with 7.5 last season and earned all-Big Ten honorable mention accolades.
Roundtree underwent surgery shortly after the accident in Florida and was then moved to the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab in Chicago.
Smith, acting in his personal capacity, helped create the Bobby T. Roundtree Trust in which Busey Bank will serve as the trustee.
The trust will provide funds to cover the many expenses for Roundtree’s care not covered by insurance and other available resources, with Roundtree's expenses anticipated to reach high six-figures each year.
"Bobby is family," Smith said in a statement. "We are going to do everything in our power to give Bobby the best chance to succeed, and we’ll be with him every step of the way. He has a locker room full of brothers who remember what Bobby did for this football team, but they also know what a special young man he is. Bobby has made an everlasting impact on (my wife) MaryAnne and on me, and we intend to support him as he confronts these new challenges. We hope others will join us."
According to his GoFundMe page, which has a fundraising goal of $97,000 in honor of the No. 97 he wears with the Illini, Roundtree will soon be moved from in-patient rehabilitation and into an out-patient rehab facility. He has also started taking online classes at Illinois for the remaining eight weeks of the fall semester, with a plan to return to the UI campus in January 2020.
"His care does require many additional services above what his student insurance will cover, including but not limited to physical therapy, occupational therapy, medical care assistance, specialty diet, transportation, and housing assistance," according to his GoFundMe page. "Funds from this account will be transferred into an irrevocable trust set up for Bobby, which will pay out all medical costs."