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Ohio State gamers gear up to fight CMT disease

8/5/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

It's no secret that many college football players spend an absurd amount of time playing video games, but the Ohio State Buckeyes are putting their favorite pastime to good use.

Ohio State is holding a video game tournament Wednesday to raise funds and awareness to fight Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease, an inherited neurological disorder similar to muscular dystrophy. The event, run by Ohio State's chapter of Uplifting Athletes, will pit offensive and defensive players against each other in NCAA Football for Xbox.

The father of Buckeyes quarterback Terrelle Pryor suffers from CMT, which is classified as a rare disease and doesn't get the same funding for research as more common conditions. Pryor and approximately 60 of his teammates will attend today's tournament.

Ohio State held a similar event last year to raise funds and awareness for kidney cancer, a disease that former quarterbacks coach Joe Daniels has battled for several years.

Wednesday's event takes place from 3-6 p.m. at Damon's Grill, 3025 Olentangy River Road in Columbus. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students.

The winner of Ohio State's video game tournament will face Penn State defensive lineman Devon Still, who won an NCAA football video game tournament in March as part of Global Rare Disease Day. The funny part is that Still used Ohio State's team to win the title.

"Each year, we get to choose a rare disease that is relevant to the team," said Ohio State safety Kurt Coleman, the president of the team's Uplifting Athletes chapter. "Last year we helped put kidney cancer on the map, so this year we wanted to do something different. CMT is a disease that has affected the father of one of our teammates, Terrelle Pryor, and we felt like we were in a position help improve the situation for all CMT patients."