Concussion group says ex-NFL player Bubba Smith had CTE

Bubba Smith, defensive end of the Baltimore Colts, is shown in 1972. (AP Photo)
Bubba Smith (78) of the Baltimore Colts leaps in a vain attempt to block a pass from New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath during Super Bowl III in Miami, Jan. 12, 1969. The NFL’s Colts were prohibitive favorites going into the game despite Namath’s brash guarantee of a Jets victory. Namath did not throw a touchdown during the game, but he earned MVP honors as he led the Jets to a 16-7 win, still considered one of the biggest upsets in American sports. (AP Photo)
Bubba Smith (78) of the Baltimore Colts leaps in a vain attempt to block a pass from New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath during Super Bowl III in Miami, Jan. 12, 1969. The NFL’s Colts were prohibitive favorites going into the game despite Namath’s brash guarantee of a Jets victory. Namath did not throw a touchdown during the game, but he earned MVP honors as he led the Jets to a 16-7 win, still considered one of the biggest upsets in American sports. (AP Photo)

BOSTON (AP) — Former NFL defensive end Bubba Smith was diagnosed with the brain disease CTE by researchers after his death, the Concussion Legacy Foundation said Monday.

Smith died in 2011 at 66. He is 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-American for Michigan State who later 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 for 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.

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