Concussion group says Bubba Smith had CTE

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

BOSTON -- The Concussion Legacy Foundation says former NFL defensive end Bubba Smith was diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy by researchers after his death.

Smith died in 2011 at 66 of acute drug intoxication. Los Angeles County Coroner's officials at the time also said he had heart disease and high blood pressure. The officials said that Smith had "acute phentermine intoxication"; phentermine is a generic name for diet pills.

Smith is one of 90 former NFL players diagnosed with CTE since 2008 at a brain bank affiliated with Veteran Affairs, Boston University and the foundation. Out of four stages of the disease, the foundation says Smith had stage 3.

Smith was the first pick in the 1967 NFL draft after a career at Michigan State, which led him to the College Football Hall of Fame. He played a total of nine seasons for the Baltimore Colts, Oakland Raiders and Houston Oilers.

He became an actor and is best known for playing Moses Hightower in the "Police Academy" movies.