Tuskegee University football player loses leg while helping friend

Tuskegee University football player loses leg while helping friend
Jabari Bailey

TUSKEGEE, AL (WSFA) - Tuskegee University is rallying support around one of their own.

Jabari Bailey, a member of the Golden Tigers football team, is facing a long recovery after losing his leg in a car accident in Memphis, Tennessee, earlier this month.

On July 11 Bailey sustained a career-ending injury. While assisting a stranded friend, a truck slammed into the rear of the friends car, pinning Jabari between the two cars and severing his left leg at the knee. The driver of the truck has been charged with failing to yield causing serious injury.

"I was heart broken. It hurt. I believe in prayer so I prayed for him. I am just glad he is still here," said Tuskegee University Athletics Director and Head Football Coach Willie Slater.

While he has not had a chance to see Jabari, Slater has spoken with him. Slater is confident the same hard work that helped Jabari land a scholarship playing football will get him through this difficult time.

"First of all he is a great person and he is a hard worker. He is going to make it cause he is that strong," said Slater. "We are going to try to help him in every way we can. He said he is coming back here in January and I told him find his way over here and we will find something for him to do."

Tuskegee Athletics released the following in a Press Release:

"Tuskegee Athletics joins with the ongoing outpouring of concern for Bailey by posting a GoFundMe account on his family's behalf to assist with various expenses."

NCAA rules permit Tuskegee to pay directly for Jabari's actual and necessary expenses related to him and his family. This GoFundMe account extends beyond that scope of covering rehabilitation and any other related expenses. The GoFundMe effort is in compliance with NCAA rules and allows all fans, donors and supporters to contribute to these particular expenses.

Under NCAA bylaw 16.11.1.7-(g), if an NCAA school is involved, the name, image and likeness of the student-athlete can be used to help raise money for student-athletes (or their family members) under the following extreme circumstances:

  • Extreme circumstances should be extraordinary in the result of events beyond the student-athlete's control (e.g., life-threatening illness, natural disaster);
  • The proceeds must be designated for a specific purpose (e.g., payment of medical bills, purchase of medical equipment, replacement of items lost in a fire, etc.)
  • The proceeds may be given directly to the beneficiaries, with receipt kept on file by the institution, which must include the amount of expenses incurred and the total amount received.

Donors should note that contributions to this fundraising effort are not considered donations to the university, and therefore are not considered tax-deductible university donations.

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