147 college football programs have former players diagnosed with CTE
It shouldn’t come as a shock, but a new report indicates CTE isn’t just a problem for professional football players. College level and younger players could also be at risk.
Based on data collected by researchers at Boston University, the Concussion Legacy Foundation claims that 147 college football programs across the country have had at least one former player diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy. At least 26 of those schools, nine of which are currently in the Top 25 ranked college football programs, have at least three former players who have been diagnosed with CTE.
Georgia had the most, with nine former players diagnosed with CTE, and every member school of a Power Five conference (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, and SEC) had 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, told USA TODAY Sports. “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.”
The findings also included some junior colleges and colleges who have already dismantled their football programs, such as Cheyney University of Pennsylvania.
Additionally, players who transferred schools were attributed to each school they played at.
CTE has become a hot topic, largely due to the high rates of former NFL players being found to have the permanent neurodegenerative disease. However, this has also contributed to the misunderstanding that CTE is just a problem for professional football players.
“One of the reasons we did this analysis is because CTE is not just an NFL problem,” Nowinski said. “Realizing that somebody you know or a friend of a friend was actually diagnosed with this helps make it more tangible, rather than just reading about NFL players you’ve seen on TV being diagnosed with this.”
“There are so many fans of the NFL, and that is where the discussion is focused. But, we know that this is a problem for football players on every level,” said Nowinski. “This is a way to draw attention to that. This isn’t a problem for a couple thousand millionaires, this is a problem for people who are not getting paid to play football. And people who are sometimes under the age of consent who are being diagnosed.”
Colleges with one or two CTE cases: Abilene Christian, Baylor, Bucknell, Cal Poly, Cal State, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, California Berkeley, Clemson, College of the Pacific, Colgate, Colorado, Compton Junior College, Dartmouth, Drexel, Duke, Elmhurst, Emory and Henry College, Emporia State, Ferris State, George Washington, Georgetown, Georgia Institute of Technology, Gettysburg, Grambling State, Grand Valley State, Hampden-Sydney College, Harding, Harvard, Hofstra, Holy Cross, Howard Payne, Howard, Indiana, Jacksonville State, Kansas, Kent State, Lakeland College, Long Beach City College, Miami University of Ohio, Mississippi State, Missouri Southern, Montana Tech, New Mexico State, North Carolina A&T, Northern Colorado, Northwestern State, Northwestern, Oregon State, Otterbein, Pittsburgh State, Prairie View A&M, Presbyterian College, Rice, Rutgers, Saginaw Valley State, San Jose State, Snow College, South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, South Dakota State, Southeast Missouri State, Southern Connecticut, Southern Methodist, Southern, St. Johns, St. Leo University, Stanford, Syracuse, Temple, Tennessee-Chattanooga, Texas A&M, Texas Southern, The Citadel, Trinity, Tulane, U.S. Naval Academy, Arizona, University of British Columbia, Charleston, Cincinnati, UConn, Houston, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Manitoba, Maryland, Memphis, Miami, Minnesota, Mizzou, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, UPenn, Pitt, Richmond, University of San Francisco, Tennessee, UTEP, University of the Pacific, Utah, Virginia, Oregon, Upper Iowa University, Utah State, Vanderbilt, Villanova, Virginia Military Institute, Wake Forest, Washington State, West Chester University, West Point, West Virginia, Western Michigan, Whitworth, William and Mary, Wittenberg, and Yale.
Colleges with 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), Penn State (3).