The family of legendary linebacker Junior Seau has agreed: His brain will be studied for evidence of trauma.
Good. The National Football League - and moms and dads of Pop Warner players across the country - need answers, fast.
Seau's is the latest haunting suicide in a chain. There were Chicago Bears safety Dave Duerson, Steelers lineman Terry Long and Falcons safety Ray Easterling - all of whom had suffered concussive damage.
The NFL's eyes are open to this epidemic, not least because retired players have sued seeking compensation for mental injuries they believe were sustained on the job.
Such sick incentives would grossly compound the more run-of-the-mill battering a brain can take during the course of a career.
Today's athletes are stronger and faster than ever. Explosive legal hits are celebrated in the culture of the game.
Even for the thousands of players who never get laid out on a gurney, a day's work can mean a steady pounding of the cranium.
Football's soul-searching has just begun.
New York Daily News