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SI, March 9, 2009 Update

March 23, 2009
March 23, 2009

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March 23, 2009

SI Bonus Section: Golf Plus
SI Players: LIFE ON AND OFF THE FIELD
2009 NCAA TOURNAMENT PREVIEW
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SI, March 9, 2009 Update

MARQUIS COOPER would have turned 27 on March 11, less than two weeks after the Raiders linebacker embarked upon a fishing trip with three friends in the Gulf of Mexico. Hours after leaving Clearwater, Fla., the group was caught in strong winds and heavy seas. Cooper's 21-foot boat capsized, and when the Coast Guard found it two days later only former South Florida football player Nick Schuyler, 24, was rescued. On March 3 the Coast Guard called off the search for Cooper, former Buccaneers defensive end Corey Smith, 29, and former USF tight end Will Bleakley, 25.

This is an article from the March 23, 2009 issue

Schuyler told authorities his friends floated away from the boat, and all three are believed dead. So on March 11, instead of celebrating a birthday, Cooper's wife, Rebekah, took a step toward closure: She filed a petition in circuit court for a presumptive death certificate, which would enable her to collect life insurance and other benefits. Cooper's family said there won't be a memorial service. "One day the pain will be a little less burdensome," said Cooper's father, Bruce. "Right now, we just need time to be together and remember Marquis."

PHOTOGREG ASHMAN/CAL SPORT MEDIASAD ENDING Cooper (with Oakland in '08) was presumed dead after a three-day search.