Recent research revealed that the number of concussions does not cause or explain the severity of CTE. The accumulation of repeated hits the kind that linebackers routinely deliver in daily practices and walk away from without symptoms that would warrant a concussion evaluation damages the brain more than several memorable collisions.
The names of the other ex-players who have donated their brains will be released throughout February.
“I can’t imagine why anybody that played the game and that cares about the guys and the kids that are starting to play the game now, wouldn’t donate,” Cross said in the new release announcing his donation. “I would urge everybody that’s ever played the game to do it.”
Also among the 30 who pledged: Mel Farr Jr., who not only played running back at UCLA and a season with the Los Angeles Rams but also is the son of former Lions Pro Bowl running back Mel Farr Sr., whose family disclosed earlier this week on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” that he had Stage 3 CTE when he died in 2015.
Almost 1,500 former athletes and military veterans have pledged to donate their brains since 2008, including 647 since the CLF launched “My Legacy” last year.
Bell was a second-round pick of the Steelers in 2013 and has rushed for 4,045 yards and 26 touchdowns despite missing 14 games because of injuries and suspensions.
“He is a guy that has got some talent, but equally or more important than that he has a desire to be great and a work ethic to boot,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said in a statement Monday. “He is a much better conditioned athlete today that he was in 2014. I mean it when I say all areas.”