The Harvard Varsity Club, in conjunction with Harvard Athletics and Friends of Harvard Football, has created a fund to aid freshman football player Ben Abercrombie in his recovery from a serious cervical injury.
The cornerback was injured in his first game for Harvard, Sept. 16 vs. Rhode Island.
The Varsity Club set up the Benson M. Abercombie ’21 Fund to provide support to Abercrombie’s family as well as future Harvard student-athletes who suffer severe injuries.
“On behalf of the Harvard Varsity Club Board, we have made it possible for the Harvard Community and others to support Ben, his family, and any future undergraduate student-athlete facing a challenge of this nature,” said Bob Glatz ’88, executive director of the Varsity Club.
In the first hour that the fund was live Wednesday morning, $70,000 was raised, according to Harvard football coach Tim Murphy.
“We’ve had a tremendous response,” he said. “I am really proud of the support from the Harvard community.”
Abercrombie, a former all-state football player at Hoover (Ala.) High, was injured making a tackle. He has undergone multiple surgeries at Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, and according to his father’s blog, he has regained some feeling in his arms and legs. He is also battling pneumonia.
The next step, said Murphy, will be to transfer Abercrombie to the Shepherd Center, a rehabilitation facility in Atlanta that specializes in spinal injuries. That timeline will be determined, in part, by when Abercrombie is taken off a ventilator.
Donations to the fund can be made on the Harvard Varsity Club website or by calling 617-495-3535.Craig Larson of the Globe staff contributed to this report.