Study: CTE Prevalent Across College Football Programs

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Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy is prevalent across college football, according to a study released earlier this year.

According to new data made public this week by the Concussion Legacy Foundation and reported on by USA Today, fully 147 college football programs have at least one former player diagnosed with CTE.

The study by researchers in Boston found that Georgia has the highest number of former players (nine) diagnosed with CTE, and each member school of a Power Five conference (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC) has at least one player diagnosed. 

"Very few colleges can say they haven’t had a former player diagnosed with CTE," Chris Nowinski, co-founder and CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation. "There’s still no long-term healthcare for former college players and no investment in research. Hopefully this will inspire changes for the next generation of football players."

Researchers believe CTE develops as the result of repeated impacts to the head, and not just impacts that result in concussion. The April study, which was co-authored by Boston University’s CTE Center director Ann McKee, found that playing tackle football before the age of 12 leads to behavioral and mood issues associated with CTE that often manifest later in life.

According to the study, there are 26 schools that have at least three CTE cases: Georgia (9), Michigan State (8), Auburn (5), Iowa (5), Ohio State (5), Purdue (5),  South Carolina (5), USC (5), Wisconsin (5), Alabama (4) Arizona State (4), Arkansas (4), Boston College (4), Colorado State (4), Kansas State (4), Michigan (4). Notre Dame (4), San Diego State (4), Texas (4), UCLA (4), Washington (4), Cornell (3), Nebraska (3), North Carolina (3), Ole Miss (3) and Penn State (3).

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