CFB notebook: CTE found in WSU QB Hilinski’s brain

The parents of former Washington State quarterback Tyler Hilinski said an autopsy performed after his January suicide showed evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy in his brain.

Mark and Kym Hilinski said Tuesday on NBC’s “Today” that the Mayo Clinic conducted the autopsy on their son, who was found dead in his residence on Jan. 16. He was 21.

Police said the younger Hilinski shot himself in the head with a rifle that belonged to a former teammate. The autopsy findings showed Stage 1 CTE, the lowest level of the disease.

“Did football kill Tyler? I don’t think so,” Kym Hilinski said in a Sports Illustrated documentary about Tyler’s life, per “Did he get CTE from (playing) football? Probably. Was that the only thing that contributed to his death? I don’t know.”

Mark Hilinski said on Tuesday that the medical examiner determined Tyler “had the brain of a 65-year-old, which is really hard to take.”

–Oklahoma State doled out some hefty raises to its coaching staff, including a pay hike that made offensive coordinator Mike Yurcich the highest-paid assistant in school history.

Yurcich, entering his sixth season with the Cowboys, received a $200,000 raise that boosted his annual salary to $800,000, making him one of the highest-paid assistants in the Big 12 Conference, the Tulsa World reported.

Oklahoma State had the nation’s leading passing offense at 389.2 yards per game, ranked No. 4 in points per game (45.0) and fifth in yards per play (7.34). The latter two marks were the best in Yurcich’s tenure.

All eight team assistant coaches received bumps in pay ranging from $18,686 to $200,000, the newspaper reporting, citing figures provided by the university. Wide receivers coach Kasey Dunn got a $50,000 raise.

–Indiana quarterback Nick Tronti is transferring to Florida Atlantic, multiple media outlets reported.

Tronti, a redshirt freshman who did not play last season, announced in early May that he was planning to leave the Hoosiers’ program.

A native of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., Tronti was named Florida’s Mr. Football as a high school senior in 2016, reported.

The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Tronti was named Indiana’s offensive scout team player of the year, but he revealed his plans to transfer shortly after Arizona graduate transfer quarterback Brandon Dawkins signed with the Hoosiers.

–Florida International cornerback Andrew Brown has transferred to Tennessee Chattanooga.

Brown, who said earlier this offseason that he planned to transfer from FIU, has been added to the Mocs’ roster, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Because he is a graduate transfer, Brown will not be required to sit out a year. He would have been eligible to play regardless by transferring from an FBS to an FCS program.

Brown started 12 of 14 games for the Panthers in 2017. The 5-foot-9, 174-pound Brown registered 40 tackles and led FIU with three forced fumbles.

–Wide receiver Quan Shorts was released from his scholarship at Texas Tech less than two weeks after he was dismissed from the team.

Shorts announced the news via social media on Monday, calling it a “bittersweet” day in a posting on his Twitter account.

“I just received my official release from Texas Tech University,” wrote Shorts, adding that he will “not be completing the mission with my Red Raider Family” to win a Big 12 conference championship.

Shorts was kicked off the team after police in Lubbock, Texas, arrested him on a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge. A Lubbock Police Department statement said officers were at an apartment complex as part of an ongoing investigation on June 15 when Shorts was arrested.