Former Cleveland Brown Reggie Rucker says concussions could have caused him to steal from charities

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CLEVELAND - Former Browns player Reggie Rucker and his attorneys are now trying to determine if concussions caused him to embezzle money from several non-profit groups to pay off gambling debts.

A judge has pushed back Rucker's sentencing date while his attorneys look into the possibility.

Rucker pleaded guilty in federal court to stealing tens of thousands of dollars from several charities he ran which were aimed at fighting urban violence.

In February, he admitted to using the money to pay off debts at casinos here in Cleveland and in Las Vegas.

Rucker's attorney, Michael Hennenberg, told Fox 8 that this afternoon a federal judge delayed Rucker's sentencing until July.

Hennenberg says Rucker suffered more than 6 concussions during his career and that those types of injuries are known to cause impulsive and compulsive behavior.

Hennenberg says Rucker is currently involved in a study that looks at the effect of traumatic brain injuries on football players over the years.

"This is not an excuse, and people need to understand why people do some of the things they do," Hennenberg told Fox 8 News reporter Kevin Freeman.

Rucker’s sentencing has been rescheduled for July 14.

"It's our position that Mr. Rucker's criminal behavior is not the result of his football days or brain injuries, but his decision to defraud valuable community organizations," said Mike Tobin, spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office.

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