• a man standing in front of a building: Phil Cofer starts GoFundMe for father? Phil Cofer via GoFundMe Phil Cofer starts GoFundMe for father

    Florida State forward Phil Cofer has started a GoFundMe campaign to pay for his father's medical and funeral expenses.

    Cofer, who learned of his father's death following the Seminoles' NCAA tournament win against Vermont on Thursday, used the platform to comment for the first time on Michael Cofer's passing.

    "On Thursday March 21st, moments after my team’s win in the first round of the 2019 NCAA tournament, celebration turned into devastation as I received a phone call that would change my life forever," Cofer wrote. "My dad, Michael Cofer, had passed due to a battle with a long-term illness. My dad has always supported me on and off the court and I will miss him dearly.

    "My family has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and now humbly asks for the community’s help with our existing and continuing expenses," Cofer continued. "All proceeds from this fundraiser will go towards my Dad’s funeral expenses and my family's outstanding and ongoing medical costs. My family will contribute any donations that exceed our funeral and medical needs towards a charitable organization."

    Cofer said the GoFundMe was created after consultation with the NCAA and Florida State Athletics Compliance Department.

    Coach Leonard Hamilton said Friday that Cofer would remain with the team for the weekend's tournament games. Cofer, who did not play against Vermont with a right foot injury,?has been limited by injuries all season, missing 12 games total this year and the first nine of the season. He's averaging 26.1 minutes and 7.4 points per game and led the seminoles in scoring (12.8 points) during the 2017-18 season. One of the team's better defenders, Cofer was key during last year's Elite Eight run.

    Mike Cofer played for the Detroit Lions from 1983 to 1992. The Lions drafted him in the third round out of Tennessee.

    The Seminoles take on No. 12 Murray State on Saturday at 6:10 p.m. ET.

    Related slideshow: Best photos of the NCAA Tournament (Provided by imagn)?

    a man holding a football ball: Duke Blue Devils forward Zion Williamson (1) during the first half of the game against the UCF Knights in the second round of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at Colonial Life Arena on March 24, 2019.

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