- The Washington Times - Friday, October 23, 2009

From combined dispatches

A football player who never competed beyond the college level suffered from a degenerative brain disease previously discovered in former NFL players.

Researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine announced Thursday that Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy was diagnosed in the donated brain of Mike Borich, who died of a drug overdose at age 42 in February. It was the first time an advanced case of CTE was found in a player who did not advance past the college game.

The findings suggest athletes could be at risk for CTE even if they don’t make the pros, greatly expanding the pool of ex-football players who may suffer from the disease. CTE has been discovered postmortem in at least seven recently deceased former NFL players.

The study first was reported by the New York Times.

UCONN: The players who were with Jasper Howard when the Connecticut cornerback was fatally stabbed Sunday are ready to play this weekend against West Virginia, coach Randy Edsall said.

Edsall said he had been concerned about the mental state of sophomore receivers Kashif Moore and Mike Smith.

Moore held Howard in his arms after he was fatally stabbed outside a dance on campus early Sunday. Edsall earlier said a player had put pressure on the wound and identified him Thursday as Smith.

The two players and everyone else on the team had a good energy level and focus in practices the last two days, Edsall said.

WEST VIRGINIA: Students at West Virginia are making their own plans to honor Howard.

Players will wear No. 6 on their helmets, and the Mountaineer Maniacs are distributing thousands of blue ribbons.

But 21-year-old Brittany Franklin of Delaplane, Va., is doing more.

She and her friends are busy making white cotton armbands to distribute to students.

Franklin invited 300 Facebook friends to participate, but the number quickly grew. By Thursday, she said 5,887 people had promised to participate and 1,733 said they might.

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