Eric Seger / Sports editorSenior safety C.J. Barnett answers questions following Ohio State’s fourth practice of fall camp at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.The NCAA implemented a new targeting rule in March for the 2013 season that will allow officials to eject any player who targets and hits a defenseless player above the shoulders, and the Ohio State football team is preparing for the change.In the Buckeyes’ fourth practice of the season on Wednesday, which Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany attended, freshman safety Chris Worley was flagged for hitting sophomore tight end Nick Vannett as he caught a pass at the goal line during a full team scrimmage. That led senior safety C.J. Barnett to say the officials “don’t even know what they are looking at.”Barnett said it is something the defensive coaches are teaching in the film room as well as on the practice field, but it does not change his mentality.“Play fast, play fast,” Barnett said. “And if you get a penalty you get a penalty, oh well. Next guy up.”Co-defensive coordinator Everett Withers said, from a coaching standpoint, the rule change will affect everyone, not just OSU.“What it does is it makes coaches on defense sure you got two and three (players) deep,” Withers said. “It will affect you at some point in the season. You hope not, but there’s a good possibility.”As the rule is intended to make the game safer, Withers said it is his job to get that message across to the players.“We always talk about it in the secondary room, about how that’s a lot of time where it comes from,” Withers said. “The back end with those bang-bang plays. It’s a rule about safety and, as a coach, you have to teach it as a rule about safety.”Senior safety Christian Bryant said it is a rule he would rather not “speak on,” but as a leader on the team, it is just another thing the veterans are responsible for handing down to the young guys.“All of the older guys in the secondary are just trying to do a good job of leading a lot of young guys in the right direction and showing them the way,” Bryant said.One of those veterans is redshirt junior corner Bradley Roby, who practiced with the second-team defense Wednesday.Roby is waiting a pretrial hearing later this month for a misdemeanor battery charge from an incident at a Bloomington,Ind., bar.Bryant said he thinks the experience will be humbling for his teammate.“I feel like it’s a humbling experience for (Roby), just him stepping down with the twos right now,” Bryant said. “He’s doing a pretty good job of taking that role and understanding what he needs to do and showing the young guys that he doesn’t really have a problem with it.”Barnett agreed, saying Roby knows the price he has to deal with.“Coach Meyer doesn’t tolerate anything,” Barnett said. “He messed up and broke a rule and he’s gotta pay for it.”Replacing Roby at corner is not the only thing the defense is concentrating on during camp. Even though the unit lost seven starters from last year’s 12-0 squad, Barnett said the team will be fine.“I know we lost Johnny (former defensive lineman John Simon) and Hank (former defensive lineman Johnathan Hankins) and all, but it’s Ohio State. One down, next up,” Barnett said. “We’re not really worried about who we lost but more of who’s next.”From the offensive side of the ball, freshman Dontre Wilson was all the buzz again, catching passes both as a wide receiver and from the back field. He outraced members of the defensive secondary easily on numerous occasions, and Bryant called him a “special player right now.”“I feel like he has a lot of attributes that he can bring to the team,” Bryant said. “One of those things is just being elusive.”Wilson was not the only freshman who caught the eyes of the veteran defenders, as both Bryant and Barnett said wide receiver Jalin Marshall also jumped out after he returned a kick off for a touchdown.“He’s one of those guys who’s a strong, fast guy, so he can produce at any position,” Bryant said.
Suffering even a mild bump to the head can leave people at greater risk of psychiatric problems and early death, a study shows.Researchers at the University of Oxford and Imperial College studied more than a million people born since 1973 in Sweden and followed them to see how head injuries impacted their lives in the coming decades.They found that people suffering even a mild traumatic head injury – defined as leaving them feeling dazed or confused – were 60 per cent more likely to have died in the studied period than people who had no injury.They were also 91 per cent more likely to have been hospitalised for a psychiatric problem, 55 per cent more likely to have done less well in education and 52 per cent more likely to have needed disability benefit.Around one in 10 people are thought to have suffered from some kind of head injury when they were children or in early adulthood.The study authors say that parents should keep a close eye on their children following a head injury to make sure they are not falling behind at school and contact doctors if the start noticing any unusual behaviour.They also recommend that individuals who have suffered serious injuries should receive close follow-up interventions after medical care. Children offer suffer head injuries in contact sports like rugby Prof Seena Fazel, Professor of Forensic Psychiatry and Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow, University of Oxford said: “People who have very mild head injuries can still have persistant problems later on.“We know that at the time there are the external forces are changing the structure of the brain. You can see it twisting and turning inside of the brain and that can cause all kind of damage. Stretching and damage to the nerve cells themselves. It does change levels of neurostransmitters“There needs to be some systems in place for follow up of individuals. In children it may well be that where there are deviations from their educational trajectory or health trajectory that people seek advice about what measures can take place.” Around one million people attend hospital in Britain each year following a head injury. The risk of a poorer outcome in later life seemed to be greater in those injured when 15 years old or older, suggesting that until then the brain may be better at repairing damage.The team found that as injuries got worse so did outcomes. Those with the most severe head injuries were twice as likely to be hospitalised with psychiatric problems and died early. “One of the implications of these findings is the importance of developing preventive interventions for early exposure to head injuries,” the authors conclude.“In toddlers and preschoolers, these interventions should ideally be targeting improved parental supervision, as falling is the most common cause of traumatic brain injury in this group.“Prevention of sports-related concussions in older children could focus on changes to rules so that the risks of players colliding their heads with each other and with equipment, eg, heading soccer balls or getting hit in the head by a racket, bat, or stick.”Prof Huw Williams, Associate Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology, University of Exeter, said: “This does not mean we should be banning children from playing contact sports but care is needed, especially in managing a child’s return to play, so that they don’t get injured again“We also need to make sure the rules are followed – more than 20% of concussion injuries in rugby appear to happen during foul play.”The research was published in the journal PLOS Medicine. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. One million people suffer from traumatic brain injuries