Illinois starts fundraiser for injured ex-DE Roundtree

Field Level Media

November 02, 2019 at 4:37 pm.

As former Illinois defensive end Bobby Roundtree continues to receive care for a severe spinal cord injury, the university athletic department is raising money to help with the costs.

The department launched the GoFundMe campaign late last month and has raised nearly $70,000 thus far. Roundtree suffered the injury in a swimming accident when he went home to Florida for a visit in May.

The fundraising goal is $97,000, in honor of Roundtree’s No. 97 jersey. The university said his medical insurance won’t cover all the costs of the services he needs, including physical and occupational therapy, transportation and assistance with housing. All money raised will be put into an irrevocable trust account.

Roundtree underwent surgery earlier this year in Florida, then was transferred to Shirley Ryan Ability Lab in Chicago. He soon will receive care from an outpatient rehabilitation facility.

“This has been devastating to his teammates, the entire Fighting Illini family and his family and friends,” Illini head coach Lovie Smith said. “Bobby Roundtree is exactly what you want in a student-athlete. He is a hard worker, dependable, a dedicated student and a leader.”

Roundtree played two seasons for the Illini, starting 20 games and earning All-Big Ten honorable mention honors last season.

He is taking online classes and is expected to resume classes on campus in January.