SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Plans were underway Tuesday to induct late San Diego Chargers linebacker Junior Seau into the Hall of Champions at the Hall's next annual banquet.
The Hall of Champions' board usually waits two full years after a player's death or retirement to decide whether to induct the athlete but is making an exception for Seau, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest at his beachfront home in Oceanside on May 2.
"He's one of ours," interim Hall president Denise Cooper said at a news conference on Monday.
According to Cooper, it took the Hall board members about a minute to decide to expedite Seau's induction. News of his early induction comes within days of the Chargers retiring Seau's No. 55 jersey before Sunday's home opener against the Tennessee Titans.
Seau, who was 43 at the time of his death, will be inducted at the Hall's next annual banquet on Feb. 25, Cooper said.
Seau played for the Chargers from 1990 to 2002. He retired from the National Football League in 2010, as a 12-time All-Pro known for his ferocious style of play and prolific community service.
In addition to the Chargers, Seau played for the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots.
Prior to entering the NFL, Seau was a standout player for Oceanside High School and the University of Southern California.
Following his death, Seau's brain tissue was sent to the National Institutes of Health at his family's request. His death, along with the suicide deaths of other former players, raised questions about possible long-term cognitive problems faced by football players due to repeated concussions.
THIS IS AN UPDATED STORY. For the original story, read below.
SAN DIEGO (AP) — The board of directors at the San Diego Hall of Champions has decided to forego the normal voting process and induct Junior Seau into the Breitbard Hall of Fame on Feb. 25.
Candidates normally aren't eligible to be voted in until two years after their careers end or their deaths.
Seau, the hard-hitting, first-pumping leader of the Chargers for 13 of his 20 NFL seasons, committed suicide May 2. He grew up in suburban Oceanside and was a star at Southern California.
Denise Cooper, president of the Hall of Champions, says Seau "was pretty special and we wanted to do this immediately."