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Junior Seau's family pulls back on decision to donate his brain to research

Obit Seau Football

Denis Poroy/AP

San Diego Chargers fan Jerry Lopez looks over a memorial set-up in the driveway of the house of former NFL star Junior Seau Thursday, May 3, 2012, in Oceanside, Calif.

Junior Seau's family might not donate his brain to research after all.

Chargers chaplain Shawn Mitchell said Sunday that the family, which is of Samoan descent, is consulting with a group of elders on a number of matters. He said it doesn't necessarily mean that the family won't donate Seau's brain for research.

"They really want to do everything right," Mitchell said.

The medical examiner's office said Friday it was awaiting a decision by the family on whether to turn over Seau's brain to unidentified outside researchers for study.

The 43-year-old committed suicide Wednesday at his home in Oceanside. He played parts of 20 seasons in the NFL, including 13 with the Chargers.

In related Seau news, a woman has been hospitalized in serious condition after she was found face-down in the water during a Southern California tribute to Seau. She'd joined hundreds of people who paddled surfboards and kayaks near his Oceanside home in memory of the football player, who shot himself last week.

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