People affected by the unexpected death of a University of Maine freshman football player pledged more than $27,000 to cover funeral costs for his family in Virginia.

Darius Minor, 18, collapsed and died Tuesday afternoon during a supervised workout at Alfond Stadium. A defensive back from Locust Grove, Virginia, Minor is the first player in the program’s 126-year history to die during a workout on campus.

Minor’s aunt, Dana Wines, set up a GoFundMe page Thursday afternoon, writing that he “was raised by a single mother who needs our help to give him the proper burial he deserves. Please help us, help her.”

Wines is the sister of Charity Wines, Minor’s mother.

As of late Friday night, $27,758 had been raised, passing the initial goal of $15,000. Dana Wines wrote that the goal had been reached, and additional funds will go to Minor’s mother “to take the time she needs to get through this difficult time.”

The largest pledge – of nearly 300 –came from longtime college benefactor Phillip H. Morse, a 1964 University of Maine graduate who played baseball and is currently a vice chairman of the Boston Red Sox. Morse pledged $10,000.

Joe Harasymiak, head football coach at Maine, posted a letter on Twitter on Thursday with a link to the “Memorial for Darius ‘Bubby’ Minor” fundraising page. He said he spoke with Charity Wines several times and told her the “entire Maine family is here for her and if there was anything she needed, we would do our best to get it done. The most important thing is we are all here to support, comfort, and help as best we can with anything Darius’ family needs.”

Minor had been in Orono with other freshmen football players as part of a new “summer bridge” program that included an academic class and workouts. Harasymiak held a team meeting Wednesday and sent players home before the start of training camp Aug. 1.

“I also urged them to be emotional,” Harasymiak wrote of his players. “They don’t have to be the tough 18- 22-year-old football player right now. They should be emotional and they should laugh and cry. It’s a normal emotion to miss someone (who) has left us too soon.”

At meeting’s end, Harasymiak left his team with a final request.

“I told them when they walk in the door … to hug and kiss whoever is there a little bit harder and a little bit longer.”

The cause of Minor’s death is unknown, pending results from an autopsy by the Maine Chief Medical Examiner’s Office.

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or

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