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.