Southern launches fund to support Devon Gales' recovery

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Southern has launched the Devon Gales Fund to provide financial assistance for Gales' medical expenses following his surgery for a spinal injury in Saturday's loss at No. 8 Georgia.

The effort is being organized by Southern's athletic department and the Southern University System Foundation. Donations can be made at the fund's website.

Gales had surgery on Sunday in Athens, Georgia, to repair several fractures in his neck. Gales was transferred from Athens Regional to Shepherd Center in Atlanta for additional rehab.

Georgia coach Mark Richt opened his weekly news conference on Tuesday by encouraging fans to contribute to the fund.

"We'll do everything in our power as the Bulldog Nation to bless Devon and his family going through this time," Richt said. "And looking forward to seeing his progress."

Georgia players and coaches have used social media to offer prayers and support for Gales.

Southern issued a statement on Sunday that said Gales and his family "and the entire Southern University family ... are extremely thankful for all of the prayers and well wishes that Devon has received from many people nationwide.

"Also, special thanks to the Georgia football program and sports medicine staff for all of their love and support that they have shown Devon during this difficult time."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.