Autopsy reveals Tyler Hilinski had CTE, family says

San Diego California.                        Sean M. Haffey  Getty

San Diego California. Sean M. Haffey Getty

Tuesday morning his parents revealed new details about their son's passing on the "Today" show.

Tyler Hillinski played high school football at Upland and was expected to contend for the starting job at Washington State this fall. "He didn't know what he was doing when he had that AR-15", Kym said. "I don't think so", his mother told the filmmakers. Hillinski is only the second active football player known to have had CTE at the time of his death. On Jan. 16, he was found dead in his apartment near campus from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. 'He had the brain of a 65-year-old, ' his father says. Head injuries, CTE, and football have been linked before: "In a convenience sample of 202 deceased players of American football from a brain donation program, CTE was neuropathologically diagnosed in 177 players across all levels of play (87%), including 110 of 111 former National Football League players (99%)", according to the results of an original investigation by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

"I remember being like kind of numb because you don't think your son is gonna die and you certainly don't think he's going to kill himself", Kym says in the SI documentary. Both pieces chronicle the Hilinski family's search for answers following the tragedy.

It has been five months since the death of Washington State University quarterback Tyler Hilinski. "And to realize that the sport that he loved may have contributed to that diagnosis". "This is not what hurt him".

Switzerland's Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri subject to Federation Internationale de Football Association disciplinary proceedings
Both players have Kosovar roots and formed a double-headed eagle with their hands, which resembles the eagle on the Albanian flag. When asked about his celebration Shaqiri said, 'It's just emotion . "In football, you have always emotions".

"Did football kill Tyler?"

The family knows it will have a complicated relationship with the sport. Ryan Hilinski was noted as a star quarterback at his high school in California and is set to play at the University of SC with the support of his parents. On the other, they know the physical game likely contributed to their eldest son's suicide. "So I have to do what most moms do and just hide what I feel".

Kelly Hilinski, Tyler's older brother and a medical student, told Sports Illustrated he has switched his focus from cardiovascular medicine to neurosurgery in order to study CTE. They've created a nonprofit called the Hilinski's Hope Foundation. "They need it, there's not enough out there for these attractive athletes that give of themselves to their colleges, but their minds aren't taken care of".

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