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CTE found in brain of deceased former Giants S Tyler Sash 01.27.16 at 10:41 am ET
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Tyler Sash

Tyler Sash

Former Giants safety Tyler Sash is the latest ex-NFL player with chronic traumatic encephalopathy found in his brain. Sash, who died at the age of 27 due to an accidental overdose of pain medications, had his brain donated by his mother to be tested for the degenerative brain disease.

An issue that has been put under a microscope in recent years, CTE is caused by repeated blows to the head that cause brain trauma. Sash’s mother, Barnetta Sash, had noticed dramatic changes in behavior since he was cut from the Giants in 2013 after what was at least his fifth concussion.

Sash returned to his hometown of Oskaloosa, Iowa, after leaving the NFL. Not long after moving back, he was arrested for public intoxication and tried evading police on a motorized scooter. He also had been experiencing memory loss, developed a temper and often showed signs of confusion.

Although his mother felt the prescription drugs he was taking were causing his mood swings and outlandish behavior, she still wanted to have his brain examined after he passed away in September.

Wrote Bill Pennington of The New York Times:

Last week, representatives from Boston University and the Concussion Legacy Foundation notified the Sash family that C.T.E. had been diagnosed in Tyler’€™s brain and that the disease, which can be confirmed only posthumously, had advanced to a stage rarely seen in someone his age.

Dr. Ann McKee, chief of neuropathology at the V.A. Boston Healthcare System and a professor of neurology and pathology at the Boston University School of Medicine who conducted the examination, said Tuesday that the severity of the C.T.E. in Sash’€™s brain was about the same as the level found in the brain of the former N.F.L. star Junior Seau, who committed suicide in 2012 at age 43.

Sash is another on what is a growing list of deceased former NFL players with CTE found in their brains.

Read More: CTE, Junior Seau, NFL, Tyler Sash
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Cowboys ‘focused on football’ after signing Michael Sam 09.04.14 at 7:52 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MLB: Red Sox at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. (NESN, ESPN; WEEI-FM)
NFL: Packers at Seahawks, 8:30 p.m. (NBC)
College football: Arizona at Texas-San Antonio, 8 p.m. (FS1)
Basketball: FIFA World Cup, United States vs. Ukraine, 11:30 a.m. (ESPN2)
Tennis: US Open, noon (ESPN), 8 p.m. (ESPN)


Michael Sam

Michael Sam

— Michael Sam participated in his first practice with the Cowboys on Wednesday after being signed to the team’s practice squad, and both the player and the club dismissed talk of him being a distraction.

Sam, bidding to become the league’s first openly gay player, was the center of attention after signing with Dallas, days after he was released by the Rams.

“I just want to do anything I can,” Sam said. “On special teams, left end, right end, whatever. If you want me to hold the ball, I’ll do it to perfection.”

Coach Jason Garrett, speaking to a larger-than-usual media crowd at his daily news conference, insisted the Sam signing was a football decision.

“That’s you decision what question you want to ask,” Garrett said. “We’re focused on football. That’s where our attention is, and what people say outside this organization is really up to them.”

Said running back DeMarco Murray: “It’s not a big deal. If he’s here to help us win, treat him like any other guy. Doesn’t matter.”

— The family of Junior Seau, the former Patriots linebacker who committed suicide in 2012, will continue its wrongful death lawsuit against the NFL after deciding to opt out of the league’s legal settlement with former players over concussion-related injuries one month before the deadline.

A number of other players — including former Cowboys Super Bowl winners Nate Newton and Larry Brown — filed objections in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia on Wednesday, arguing the the monetary awards in the proposed settlement were insufficient, among other claims.

“We have tried to communicate it that it is not satisfactory and all we met were deaf ears,” Seau family lawyer Steve Strauss told The Associated Press. “The settlement does not include any value at all for the claims of his four children. Or the loss of his companionship or the loss of his future earnings.”

The league’s settlement proposal, which could pay out more than $675 million in total damages to as many as 20,000 retired players, is designed to last at least 65 years and cover retired players who develop issues believed to be caused by concussions sustained during their time in the NFL.

“If Mr. Strauss believes the $4 million his client is eligible for under the settlement is insufficient, he can choose to permanently forfeit these benefits and face all the significant risks associated with continued litigation,” said Christopher Seeger, co-lead counsel for the retired player plaintiffs in the NFL concussion settlement. “We would advise any class member against opting out of this agreement, considering the tremendous guaranteed benefits it provides.”

Little League Baseball star Mo’ne Davis made it clear during one of her many interviews last month that her real love is basketball, and she hopes to play at UConn in a few years. That led to a congratulatory call from UConn coach Geno Auriemma.

However, that didn’t sit well with another college. Auriemma told the Hartford Courant that the unidentified school called the American Athletic Conference to report Auriemma’s call as a potential recruiting violation — despite the fact that Davis, a 13-year-old from Philadelphia, is not even in high school.

MASHUP POLL: Was UConn coach Geno Auriemma out of line to call Mo'ne Davis?

  • No, he was just trying to do something nice for someone who expressed an interest in his program (74%, 86 Votes)
  • Yes, he knows he's gaining a recruiting advantage by contacting her (26%, 31 Votes)

Total Voters: 117

Loading ... Loading ...

Auriemma lamented, “That’s the world that we live in,” and said he knew nothing about Davis’ abilities on the basketball court, that he only called Davis after being asked to.

“I have no idea if the kid is very good, kind of good, not good at all or a superstar or can even reach the basket,” he said. “How is that a violation?”

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Sept. 4, 2000, the Red Sox retired a former Sox player’s number for the first time in 11 years, with which legend taking his place among the all-time greats?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: Say what you want about me as a ball player but trying to tarnish my character or my work ethic isn’t going to fly..truth will reveal itself. — Jackie Bradley Jr., via Twitter, responding to insinuations that his attitude played a role in his demotion from the Red Sox to Triple-A Pawtucket

STAT OF THE DAY: $43.5 million — Amount the Bruins reportedly agreed to pay David Krejci as part of his six-year contract extension

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): Peter Boujos hits a walkoff single in the ninth inning to give the Cardinals a 1-0 victory over the Pirates

Despite playing inside the domed Tropicana Field, Blue Jays batter Melky Cabrera flinches when thunder explodes above the stadium. The game was delayed during the storm when a bank of lights went out.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Catcher Carlton Fisk (27)

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Beyonce Knowles was born on this day in 1981.

Read More: Geno Auriemma, Junior Seau, Michael Sam, Mo'ne Davis
Ravens DB Ed Reed: Junior Seau ‘signed up for’ possible dangers of NFL 01.30.13 at 9:13 am ET
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Ravens safety Ed Reed said Tuesday that Junior Seau, who committed suicide after reportedly suffering brain damage during his NFL career, knew the possible dangers of football and accepted them when he signed an NFL contract.

“Did he sign up for it?” Reed said during Super Bowl media day Tuesday. “Yeah, he signed up for it.”

Reed said he’s already having issues he believes to be related to concussions during his NFL career, which began in 2002, but that all football players accept the potential risks.

“I feel effects from it,” Reed said. “Some days, I wake up and I’m like, ‘Where did my memory go?’ But I signed up for it.”

Meanwhile, Baltimore safety Bernard Pollard said he’d have doubts letting his own young son play football.

“My son will be 5 [years old] in a couple of days,” Pollard said. “He wants to throw the football and be tackled. I see it in him. My wife and I talk about it all the time. I know concussions can happen anywhere. I don’t want to see my son go through that.”

But Reed stood by his claim that Seau knew what could happen to his mind when he became a pro football player.

“Junior gave everything he had to football,” Reed said. “I’m sure he’s looking down and has no regrets.”

Read More: Ed Reed, Junior Seau,
Junior Seau’s family to sue NFL in wrongful death lawsuit 01.23.13 at 2:20 pm ET
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Junior Seau‘s family is suing the NFL on the grounds that the former linebacker’s suicide was the result of a brain disease he developed after multiple concussions while playing in the NFL.

The wrongful death lawsuit says that Seau developed chronic traumatic encephalopathy after numerous blows to the head that weren’t treated correctly. It also accuses the NFL of deliberately ignoring and concealing evidence of the risks associated with brain trauma.

Seau was diagnosed earlier this month with CTE after his death of a self-inflicted gunshot in May.

“We were saddened to learn that Junior, a loving father and teammate, suffered from CTE,” the Seau family said in a statement released to The Associated Press. “While Junior always expected to have aches and pains from his playing days, none of us ever fathomed that he would suffer a debilitating brain disease that would cause him to leave us too soon.

“We know this lawsuit will not bring back Junior. But it will send a message that the NFL needs to care for its former players, acknowledge its decades of deception on the issue of head injuries and player safety, and make the game safer for future generations.”

The Seaus are also suing helmet manufacturer Riddell Inc., saying they were “negligent in their design, testing, assembly, manufacture, marketing, and engineering of the helmets.”

A November Associated Press review found that more than 3,800 players have sued the NFL over head injuries in at least 175 cases as the issue of concussions causing mental illness in players has come to the forefront. The plaintiffs in this latest case are listed as Gina Seau, Junior’s ex-wife; Junior’s children Tyler, Sydney, Jake and Hunter, and Bette Hoffman, trustee of Seau’s estate.

Read More: Junior Seau, Rumor Mill,
Junior Seau’s family donates his brain tissue to research 07.12.12 at 3:08 pm ET
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According to the Associated Press, Junior Seau‘s family has donated some of the late linebacker’s brain tissue to research.

There had been plenty of speculation as to what would happen to Seau’s brain, as questions were raised as to whether head injuries led to his apparent suicide. The former Patriots linebacker shot himself in the chest in May.

Seau was 43 years old at the time of his death. He had been retired for two years.

Read More: Junior Seau, Rumor Mill,
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Junior Seau reportedly struggled with insomnia 06.01.12 at 7:57 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NBA playoffs: Heat at Celtics, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI)
MLB: Red Sox at Blue Jays, 7:07 p.m. (NESN; WRKO)
MLB: Yankees at Tigers, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Cubs at Giants, 10 p.m. (WGN)

MLB: Red Sox at Blue Jays, 1:07 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)
MLB: Athletics at Royals, 2 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLB: Mariners at White Sox, 4 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Yankees at Tigers, 7 p.m. (Fox)
MLB: Rangers at Angels, 10 p.m. (MLB Network)
MiLB: PawSox at Lehigh Valley, 6:35 p.m. (NESN)
NBA playoffs: Spurs at Thunder, 8:30 p.m. (TNT)
NHL playoffs: Kings at Devils, 8 p.m. (NBC)
MLS: Fire at Revolution, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)

NBA playoffs: Heat at Celtics, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI)
MLB: Red Sox at Blue Jays, 1:07 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)
MLB: Yankees at Tigers, 4 p.m. (TBS)
MLB: Cubs at Giants, 4 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Cardinals at Mets, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: Exhibition, United States vs. Canada, 7 p.m. (NBCSN)


‘™¦ According to a report in USA Today that details the final days of Junior Seau‘s life, the former Patriots linebacker suffered from insomnia and regularly took a sleeping pill before he shot and killed himself May 2 at his San Diego-area home.

The story quotes friends of Seau as saying he took Ambien, a brand name for zolpidem. The drug comes with a warning that depressed users have reported suicidal thoughts or actions, and instructions indicate users should not take Ambien with alcohol, which Seau is said to have done, and cease use if they are unable to get a full eight hours of sleep.

“He told me he usually woke up around 1 or 2 and couldn’t go back to sleep,” said Nancy Emsley, who worked out with Seau at a nearby gym.

“I know he’s had a very difficult time sleeping over the years,” former Chargers teammate Mark Walczak said. “I think it’s gotten worse and worse. Lack of sleep creates huge anxiety.”

‘™¦ Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis, despite recently saying he’s “not unhappy” about his contract, said after Thursday’s OTA practice that he’s unsure if he’ll report to training camp on time.

“I don’t know,” Revis said. “That’s all I’m telling you. I don’t know if I am or I’m not.”

Revis missed the 2010 preseason before signing a deal that has two years and $13.5 million remaining. He earned $32.5 million over the first two years of the contract, and ESPN reports that he wants to renegotiate the last two years to be similar to the first two.

‘™¦ Millionaire rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs‘ son is defending himself against complaints that he should pay his own way through college despite receiving an athletic scholarship to play football at UCLA.

Justin Combs, a 5-foot-9, 175-pound cornerback who played last season at Iona Prep in New Rochelle, N.Y., committed to the Bruins in November.

Tweeted Justin: Regardless what circumstances are, I put that work in!!!! PERIOD.

UCLA released a statement noting that athletic scholarships are not need-based and are not funded by taxpayers’ money.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On June 1, 2005, a player who last hit a home run at Fenway Park on June 21, 1989, hit another one there to help the Orioles beat the Red Sox, 9-3. That made it 5,824 days between home runs in Boston, a major league record for time between homers at one ballpark. Who was the player?

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Read More: Darrelle Revis, Diddy, Junior Seau, Sean Combs
Friday’s Morning Mashup: BU reportedly to study Junior Seau’s brain 05.04.12 at 7:59 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

NBA playoffs: Hawks at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE, ESPN; WEEI)
NBA playoffs: Bulls at 76ers, 8 p.m. (ESPN2)
NBA playoffs: Lakers at Nuggets, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NHL playoffs: Coyotes at Predators, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
MLB: Orioles at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WRKO)
MLB: Phillies at Nationals, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)

NBA playoffs: Pacers at Magic, 2 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA playoffs: Grizzlies at Clippers, 4:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA playoffs: Thunder at Mavericks, 7:30 p.m. (TNT)
NBA playoffs: Spurs at Jazz, 10 p.m. (TNT)
NHL playoffs: Rangers at Capitals, 12:30 p.m. (NBC)
MLB: Orioles at Red Sox, 1:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)
MLB: White Sox at Tigers, 4 p.m. (Fox)
MLB: Braves at Rockies, 8 p.m. (MLB Network)
MLS: Revolution at Real Salt Lake, 9 p.m. (CSNNE)

NBA playoffs: Hawks at Celtics, 7 p.m. (CSNNE, TNT; WEEI)
NBA playoffs: Bulls at 76ers, 1 p.m. (ABC)
NBA playoffs: Heat at Knicks, 3:30 p.m. (ABC)
NBA playoffs: Lakers at Nuggets, 9:30 p.m. (TNT)
NHL playoffs: Blues at Kings, 3 p.m. (NBC)
NHL playoffs: Flyers at Devils, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
MLB: Orioles at Red Sox, 1:35 p.m. (NESN; WEEI)
MLB: Yankees at Royals, 2:10 p.m. (TBS)
MLB: Dodgers at Cubs, 2:20 p.m. (WGN)
MLB: Phillies at Nationals, 8 p.m. (ESPN)


‘™¦ According to a report in the New York Daily News, Junior Seau‘s family told a Chicago brain research institute that it plans to donate the former Patriots linebacker’s brain to Boston University’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy. The BU center has become well known for its work studying deceased players’ brains for evidence of trauma.

“This specimen needs to be examined,” said Dr. Julian Bailes, director of the Brain Injury Research Institute in Chicago. “It doesn’t matter who does it. There are only two groups doing this kind of work.”

The San Diego County medical examiner ruled Seau’s death a suicide Thursday.

‘™¦ Former quarterback Kurt Warner, now an NFL Network analyst, said Thursday that he would prefer that his kids do not play football because of the health risks.

Ex-Giants wide receiver Amani Toomer did not appreciate Warner’s admission.

“I’€™d definitely have my son play football,” Toomer said. “That’€™s what the Toomer family does. We all play football. But what this reminds me of is the guy at the basketball court, who once he gets done playing takes the ball and ruins the game for everybody else. I think Kurt Warner needs to keep his opinions to himself when it comes to this. Everything that he’€™s gotten in his life has come from playing football. He works at the NFL Network right now. For him to try and trash the game, it seems to me that it’€™s just a little disingenuous to me.”

‘™¦ Jose Canseco, who announced last month that he will play for the Worcester Tornadoes of the Can-Am League this summer, is asking fans to vote him into the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

Tweeted Canseco: Haters and Cansecomaniacs. Let’s do history. Please write me in MLB all star ballot. That’s all I ask. One wish in whole world.

Canseco went on to include a link for the ballot and suggest that fans write him in as the American League’s designated hitter, representing either the A’s, Red Sox, Rangers or Rays.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On May 4, 1974, which Red Sox rookie tied a major league record when he made three errors in his first game?

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Read More: Amani Toomer, Jose Canseco, Junior Seau, Kurt Warner
Tackling a tough issue… 12.23.08 at 10:55 am ET
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The Sun Chronicle of Attleboro has an indepth look at local Todd Kobus, the Iraqi war veteran who was arraigned and charged on Monday with jumping out of the stands and tackling Junior Seau in the fourth quarter of the Patriots win over Arizona on Sunday. Meanwhile, Pro Football Weekly has the low-down on the snow-throwing, hot-air blowing Shaun Ellis incident in Seattle following the Jets’ debacle. And despite all the rumors and assumptions that Romeo Crennel is done in Cleveland following a 14-0 loss at home to Cincinnati, he may have one final chance to save his job in Pittsburgh this weekend.

Read More: fan tackle, Junior Seau, New England Patriots, Todd Kobus