University of Illinois Football Player Suffers Severe Spinal Cord Injury After Diving Accident Near John’s Pass


University of Illinois junior football player Bobby Roundtree suffered a severe spinal injury Saturday afternoon.

First responders were dispatched to a call for service in the waterway near John’s Pass in Madeira Beach at approximately 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 18, 2019.

While enroute, responding marine units from the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office were informed that a man had a head/neck injury as a result of a shallow water dive accident.  This occurred as the man drove from a boat at a crowded sandbar party ongoing in Madeira Beach, Florida.

Video of man being rushed to the docks by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s marine unit with the assistance of medical personnel.

Roundtree was transported to the trauma center at Bayfront Heath St. Petersburg with symptoms consistent with a spinal cord injury.

On Monday, an announcement was made that University of Illinois junior football player Bobby Roundtree suffered a severe spinal injury Saturday in this incident.

The University posted the following information.

Surgeons at Baycare’s Mease Countryside Hospital, Safety Harbor, Florida, where Roundtree is recovering, performed surgery Sunday night. No additional information is available at this time.

Photo of University of Illinois football player Bobby Roundtree. Photo courtesy of the University of Illinois

Roundtree started 20 of 24 games during his first two seasons at Illinois, earning honorable mention All-Big Ten honors in 2018. He was projected as one of the Illini’s top players entering his junior season in 2019. Smith, several Illini coaches, along with many family members and friends, gathered at the hospital over the weekend in support of Roundtree.

Bobby Roundtree is exactly what you want in a student athlete,” said Head Coach Lovie Smith. “He is a hard worker, dependable, a dedicated student and a leader. This is devastating to his teammates, the entire Fighting Illini family and his family and friends. We will give Bobby all the support possible as he battles through his recovery. Please keep Bobby and his family in your thoughts and prayers.”

Roundtree played locally for Largo High School.

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Injured man taken to the docks at the John’s Pass Marina


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