Fund established to help Michael Cofer with medical bills


Mike Cofer poses for a photo with his wife, Reba, at their home in Fayetteville, Ga., on March 3. Cofer played football at the University of Tennessee and went on to a 10-year career in the NFL. Cofer has been diagnosed with amyloidosis. It’s a rare disease in which proteins become insoluble and disrupt normal function in the kidneys and other organs. (Mike Strange/News Sentinel)

Photo by Mike Strange/News Sentinel

Mike Cofer poses for a photo with his wife, Reba, at their home in Fayetteville, Ga., on March 3. Cofer played football at the University of Tennessee and went on to a 10-year career in the NFL. Cofer has been diagnosed with amyloidosis. It’s a rare disease in which proteins become insoluble and disrupt normal function in the kidneys and other organs. (Mike Strange/News Sentinel)

The story of Michael Cofer’s battle with an incurable disease touched a number of News Sentinel readers. Now there’s a way they can help.

Cofer, a Knoxville native, was a football standout at Rule High School who played at the University of Tennessee from 1979-82 and then with the Detroit Lions in the NFL.

Since 2007 he has been fighting amyloidosis, a debilitating and incurable disease.

Readers responded to the story which ran May 5, wanting to help the Cofer family, who live near Atlanta, with the ongoing medical bills.

The fact that Cofer’s son, Philip, is a basketball prospect at Whitewater High School in Fayetteville, Ga., and is being recruited by UT, complicated the issue.

NCAA bylaws monitor contact between fans or boosters and prospects and their families for improper inducements.

Todd Dooley, UT’s assistant athletic director for compliance, said Tuesday that the SEC office had ruled that donations for medical assistance would not be considered an improper benefit.

UT encourages anyone wanting to assist the Cofer family to do so through a fund that was opened at SunTrust Bank this week by former Rule High School faculty.

Donations to the “Mike Cofer Rule High Fund” can be made at any SunTrust branch.

Donors may inform the teller they wish to make a donation and identify the fund by its exact name.

Donations may also be mailed to:

Mike Cofer Rule High Fund, SunTrust Bank, 7426 Chapman Highway, Knoxville TN, 37920.

Mailed donations will not receive a receipt.

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Comments » 10

lknvol writes:

This story makes me LIVID!!!!! That we even have to think about consulting a bloated, corrupt organization like the NCAA to be able to take care of one of our own is ABSURD!! It's time for the NCAA to go bye-bye. They have long outlived their usefulness and far overstepped their bounds. And their magnanimous jesture to approve contributions for medical expenses only is incredibly arrogant. Those guys make me SICK!!!!!!!!!

underthehill writes:

Who was on the UT coaching staff when Cofer played..it seems to me it would be a good idea for them to get involved in this effort...the faith of this family ..especially the way mother handles it for her children ..is amazing..

cltvol writes:

in response to lknvol:

This story makes me LIVID!!!!! That we even have to think about consulting a bloated, corrupt organization like the NCAA to be able to take care of one of our own is ABSURD!! It's time for the NCAA to go bye-bye. They have long outlived their usefulness and far overstepped their bounds. And their magnanimous jesture to approve contributions for medical expenses only is incredibly arrogant. Those guys make me SICK!!!!!!!!!

It's coming,,super confernces taking over with SEC leading the way. And you are right. Thats why I voted to take SEC football schedule to 10 games. Anything to neuter ncaa is a plus and if SEC went to 10 game football schedule it would be a nice punch in the gut

MetroplexMojo writes:

in response to lknvol:

This story makes me LIVID!!!!! That we even have to think about consulting a bloated, corrupt organization like the NCAA to be able to take care of one of our own is ABSURD!! It's time for the NCAA to go bye-bye. They have long outlived their usefulness and far overstepped their bounds. And their magnanimous jesture to approve contributions for medical expenses only is incredibly arrogant. Those guys make me SICK!!!!!!!!!

In the NCAA's defense

If you allowed accounts to be set up without prior approval or oversight, schools like Alabama would start giving physicals to every parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, baby momma, granny of every prospective recruit in order to find ailments needed to set up accounts. Without oversight, the boosters could fund an account to take care of the ingrown toenail of McCarron's granny.

NashvillePreds writes:

I've got $20 coming your way Mr. Cofer.
Thank you for Giving Your All For Tennessee.
Even though it's not much, I'm glad we all have the chance to give something back.

Rise to the Top
Go Vols

underthehill writes:

in response to NashvillePreds:

I've got $20 coming your way Mr. Cofer.
Thank you for Giving Your All For Tennessee.
Even though it's not much, I'm glad we all have the chance to give something back.

Rise to the Top
Go Vols

I also plan to donate..but I repeat..who were the coaches on the UT staff when Cofer played..they could and should step up and lead this effort...

voloffaith writes:

in response to underthehill:

I also plan to donate..but I repeat..who were the coaches on the UT staff when Cofer played..they could and should step up and lead this effort...

Pretty sure that was under the Majors regime.....possibly Dickey.....Majors was in the 80's to early 90's without doing a google record check...............

67classut writes:

It is admirable that we pay donations to help those who are ill although realistic, some costs for treatment and cure are hugely expensive.

Instead, why don't we all agree to pool our resources into a common fund. Everyone contributes, everyone receives care, premiums are adjusted for affordability. And with a uniform system, we can finally get a grip on the massive fraud and greed in the system. Has anyone noticed reading articles about the huge differences at hospitals for the same treatment? But pardon the politics, but the means toward that answer is the "Affordable Health Care Act", known derisively as Obamacare.

NashvillePreds writes:

in response to 67classut:

It is admirable that we pay donations to help those who are ill although realistic, some costs for treatment and cure are hugely expensive.

Instead, why don't we all agree to pool our resources into a common fund. Everyone contributes, everyone receives care, premiums are adjusted for affordability. And with a uniform system, we can finally get a grip on the massive fraud and greed in the system. Has anyone noticed reading articles about the huge differences at hospitals for the same treatment? But pardon the politics, but the means toward that answer is the "Affordable Health Care Act", known derisively as Obamacare.

Thx soapbox.
Before I read that, I thought obamacare was massive unfunded government mandate which sapped our personal freedom to choose our own destiny, and instead introduced additional levels of government bureaucracy between myself, & my chosen healthcare provider.
Thanks for clearing that up....

67classut writes:

I choose my bureaucratic, anti-personal freedom Medicare at $200/monthly(pay the high income tax supplement) to my best friend(age 62) who pays the best private option at $900/month, 5000 deductible, out of pocket 15,000. She's poor but in your mind she's free.

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