Report: Lawrence Phillips' brain to be examined for CTE after prison suicide
According to USA Today, the family of former Nebraska running back Lawrence Phillips has agreed to donate his brain to researchers studying Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).
On Wednesday, Phillips, 40, was found unresponsive in his prison cell at Kern Valley State Prison, where he was serving a 31-year sentence for two crimes, and he was also facing the death penalty after being charged with the murder of his former cellmate.
The Kern County coroner ruled Phillips’ death a suicide on Friday.
Phillips’ family is now seeking answers as to what mental imbalance caused the former Nebraska running back to have the issues he did. They reportedly agreed to donate Phillips’ brain to Boston University’s Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Program, which is a group that specializes in diagnosing CTE in former NFL players.
According to the family’s lawyer, the Phillips’ could be eligible for $5 million from the NFL players concussion settlement.
After helping the Huskers to back-to-back national championships, Phillips was drafted sixth overall in 1996 by the St. Louis Rams. But his NFL career ended in 1999 because of several on and off-field issues.