The family of Junior Seau is reconsidering its decision to allow researchers to study his brain for signs of damage caused by concussions suffered during his 20-year NFL career, Reuters reported Saturday.
“They have now stepped back from what they were thinking initially,” Seau family pastor Shawn Mitchell told the news service a day after he had said the family would allow study of Seau’s brain. “Nothing is definite right now.”
Garrett Webster, the administrator and player liaison for the Brain Injury Research Institute, which studies the impact of concussions, said his group has requested the family donate the brain but hasn’t heard back.
Seau, 43, was found dead in his Oceanside, Calif., home Wednesday morning of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest.
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He was the second former NFL player to commit suicide in the past two weeks. Ray Easterling, a safety for the Atlanta Falcons in the 1970s and a plaintiff in a high-profile lawsuit against the league over its handling of concussion-related injuries, died April 19 of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Eighteen of 19 former NFL players whose brains were studied at Boston University’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy were found to have had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a progressive degenerative disease of the brain.
LIKE FATHER …
Matt Simms just wanted an opportunity to keep playing football.
So, when he picked up the phone and the New York Jets offered him a tryout, he jumped at the chance. Then, he had to explain it to cringing family members and friends.
“Obviously, I’m just super-excited to be here and it being a hometown team, especially, makes it that much more special,” the youngest son of former Giants quarterback Phil Simms said. “It’s a little strange for a lot of my friends since it is the Jets, but I told them that it doesn’t matter.”
After stints playing quarterback at Louisville, El Camino College and finally Tennessee, Simms is at Jets rookie minicamp this weekend hoping to make an impression.
After nearly three years, George Martin resigned from the NFL Alumni Association and the NFL Alumni Foundation. The boards of directors appointed Joe Pisarcik as interim chief staff officer of each organization. Martin will stay on as an adviser over the next four to five months.