Florida State forward Phil Cofer received a phone call from his family after the team's 76-69 victory over Vermont and learned that his father had died.
Florida State athletic department spokesman Chuck Walsh says Mike Cofer, a former Pro Bowl linebacker with the NFL's Detroit Lions, had been suffering from a long illness.
Mike Cofer had suffered from an uncommon disease that affects organs and tissue.
Walsh says Phil Cofer received the phone call during the open locker-room period and broke down into tears. The senior forward had missed the game with an injured foot.
Mike Cofer played for the Lions from 1983-92. The Lions drafted him in the third round out of Tennessee.