BOSTON – Former Michigan State defensive end Bubba Smith was diagnosed with the brain disease CTE by researchers after his death, the Concussion Legacy Foundation said today.
Smith died in 2011, at age 66. He’s one of 90 former NFL players diagnosed with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy 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 CTE.
Other former NFL players diagnosed with CTE include Hall of Famers Frank Gifford, Ken Stabler, Mike Webster and Junior Seau.
A 1966 All-America for MSU who eventually was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, Smith was the first overall pick in the 1967 NFL draft by the Colts. A fearsome pass rusher, he made two Pro Bowls with them and won a Super Bowl in the 1971 season.
Smith also played for the Oakland Raiders and Houston Oilers.
He became an actor and is best known for playing Moses Hightower in the “Police Academy” movies.