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Illinois Northwestern Football (copy)

Illinois defensive end Bobby Roundtree suffered a severe spinal cord injury on Saturday near his hometown of Largo, Fla.

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois defensive end Bobby Roundtree remains in hospital care near his home in Largo, Fla., while recovering from a severe spinal injury during a swimming accident on May 18, according to a university statement.

“Bobby continues to have a positive spirit and intends to fight hard during his recovery,” Illini football coach Lovie Smith said in the statement. “He has a long road ahead during his recovery and we will be there to support Bobby and his family the entire way.”

Smith spent last week in the Tampa area while supporting the Roundtree family before returning to Champaign Tuesday. Several other Illini coaches, staff members and teammates have also visited Roundtree, particularly Tampa bay resident and defensive line coach Austin Clark.

According to the release, Illinois' Division of Intercollegiate Athletics has "identified an internal working group to coordinate the finest medical and rehabilitation care possible for Bobby and is in daily contact with his medical staff in Florida."

Plans are for Roundtree to return to Champaign "at the appropriate time in his recovery process."

Fundraising opportunities to help the Roundtree family with uncovered medical expenses are being planned around the first Illinois football game on Aug. 31.

Those wanting to send Roundtree well wishes can email him at BobbyRoundtree@illinois.edu.

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