Tyler Hilinski, the 21-year-old Washington State player who committed suicide back in January, had stage one CTE.
That was the news released Tuesday by the parents of the late quarterback. Kym and Mark Hilinski talked about the aftermath following their unimaginable tragedy in interviews with Sports Illustrated and the Today Show.
“The medical examiner said he had the brain of a 65-year-old,” Tyler’s father Mark Hilinski told Hoda Kotb on Today. “It was a shock to get those results and find out he had it and to realize that this sport that he loved may have contributed to that diagnosis.”
The Hilinski family, who also worked with SI TV on a new documentary about Tyler, are making the media rounds for one reason: to spread awareness about mental health issues among student athletes. To help spread the word, the family started a non-profit: Hilinski’s Hope.
“People need to keep talking about suicide and mental illness and mental health. We need to erase the stigma,” Kym Hilinski said on Today. “What we’re trying to do with student athletes is we’re trying to fund programs that support them and their mental health. They need it. There’s not enough out there for these beautiful athletes that give of themselves to their colleges, but their minds aren’t taken care of.”
In response to the news, Washington State athletics released a statement, reaffirming their commitment to supporting the mental health of their athletes. The changes include mental health screenings for all varsity athletes and the addition of a full-time psychologist to the athletic department.
For more on the story, the Today Show interview is embedded above. You can read the Sports Illustrated feature here. The documentary produced by SI is part of their SI TV subscription service. You can subscribe here for $5 a month after a free trial.
More on Hilinski
WSU quarterback Tyler Hilinski suffered from CTE when he killed himself | The Spokesman-Review
Reached by the Seattle Times, Coach Mike Leach said the WSU has already taken precautions to avoid exposing their quarterbacks to unnecessary hits.
What to know about Tyler Hilinski and CTE - SBNation.com
The deceased college quarterback’s brain "looked like that of a much older, elderly man," according to a doctor.
Pac-12 Football 5-Year Recruiting Profiles: Washington State Cougars - UW Dawg Pound
The Cougars hand out a lot of offers but they’re on the lower end of the worst offenders in the conference. In both 2015 and 2018 they gave out about 50 more offers than in the other 3 years so they aren’t very consistent in that regard.
WSU transfer is headed to brand new division one school California Baptist. They are ineligible for the postseason until the end of their transition before the 2022-23 season.