MONTGOMERY, Ala. | Alabama State and Tuskegee put their football rivalry aside Friday, the opening day of camp for the Hornets, as head coach Donald Hill-Eley and Tuskegee head coach Willie Slater met in Montgomery.
Eley presented the Golden Tigers $1,500 raised by the program and the Heritage Barber Shop this week to go towards the fund for injured Tuskegee linebacker Jabari Bailey. On July 11, Memphis-area news outlets reported that Bailey, who was scheduled to join the Golden Tigers football team for football camp this summer, sustained a career-ending injury. His “Good Samaritan” act of helping a friend whose car left him stranded on the side of the road resulted in Bailey being struck by another car. The impact of the crash pinned Bailey between the two cars, instantly severing one of his legs.
"The entire university is heartbroken for Jabari, his family and for all of us who know him," Slater said. "There are no words to describe how it felt to hear this terrible news. The football team, athletic program and university will be there to support Jabari in any way we can throughout this incredibly difficult time in his life."
“We are going to compete with them," Eley said. "We are going to play them hard just like any other game, but when it comes to one of our guys that is down, whether it is Alabama State or Tuskegee we are going to support our kids. My heart just goes out to that program and the family.”
NCAA rules permit Tuskegee to pay directly for Jabari’s actual and necessary expenses related to him and his family. A GoFundMe account has been set up and 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.
To make a donation to support the Bailey family, go here. 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.