Carlton HaselrigThe family of Carlton Haselrig, six-time NCAA wrestling champ and 2016 National Wrestling Hall of Fame inductee -- as well as Pittsburgh Steeler football legend who collapsed and died in his home at age 54 on July 22 - is having his brain donated to Boston University for brain injury research, Haselrig's hometown newspaper, the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat, reported Wednesday.
According to the Haselrig family, Boston University's Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center is among the leading brain injury research institutions, with the largest tissue repository in the world.
The Boston University center specializes in chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) - "a common term used to describe the brain of an individual who repeatedly faced head traumas, specifically those, like Carlton, who played aggressively vigorous sports a majority of their life," the family statement said.
"Life starts with family. Carlton was big on family, he respected everyone, inspired his loved ones, and ensured to always support those he encountered. As his family, we have promised to do our part and uphold the values Carlton has built, starting by executing his desire to donate his brain for CTE research."
Donations from the families of athletes who played sports that may have caused serious traumatic injuries such as these described here can help Boston University research these injuries and provide help to prevent future such injuries in the future.
Haselrig previously participated in CTE research at Boston University. His family believes his earlier involvement in the program potentially will lead to even more significant findings.
Bruce Haselrig, Carlton's uncle and a well-known PIAA and NCAA wrestling official, said the Boston University research was important to Carlton Haselrig.