PULLMAN, Wash. -- A startling new report about a college quarterback who killed himself in January reveals he had Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.
In a Sports Illustrated article, the medical examiner said Washington State University’s 21-year-old quarterback Tyler Hilinski's autopsy shows he had CTE in his brain. CTE is often caused by repeated head trauma.
Hilinski's parents said in the article Tyler had the brain of a 65-year-old. They said they don't think football killed Tyler but think he probably got CTE from playing.
They said Tyler didn't show any signs leading up to his suicide, but he had become less responsive to calls and text messages late last season and after a family vacation in January.
The Hilinskis said society needs to keep talking about suicide and mental health and erase the stigma.
They started the foundation "Hilinski's Hope" to help schools better support athletes dealing with mental illness.
Their younger son, Ryan, plans to play for South Carolina next year. They said the information scared him a little bit, but he still plans to play.