Monday, December 1, 2014

Missing Ohio State Football Player Found Near Ohio State Campus

When I built my new office about 7 years ago, it turned out to be an avalanche of blessings in more ways than I could have ever imagined.

One of the blessings, and one that I would not have thought of prior to construction, was my close friendship with they guy who ran my building project. That man, Tom Baugh, is a pretty big guy. It wasn't until we were way into the building project that I found out he had played in the NFL for a while.

We bonded over the building (both the structure and the project) and have been friends ever since. Over the years , one of the things we've both taken an interest in is head trauma. Me, because I was in a massive car wreck when I was 23 that resulted in massive head trauma, Tom because of his NFL career and all the things that go with it.

I've also taken an interest in Chronic Traumatic Encephaly (CTE) because of what I do for a living. Tom began discussing some of the info that he had on the subject and I became an "info-nerd" on CTE.

The latest on the potential results of CTE came this weekend with the suicide of an Ohio State player. Now, as someone who has a degree in psychology I'm the first to say you cannot say one thing caused this. Suicide is a complicated subject and it may take quite some time before the true reason(s) are known. However, CTE very well could have played a part. I hope open minds examine this case and that a thorough autopsy is done on this young man's brain.

Here is the story from USA Today:

Missing Ohio State football player Kosta Karageorge was found dead Sunday of what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Columbus Police confirmed.

Sgt. Richard Weiner said Karageorge, who had been missing since Wednesday after sending a text message about concussions, was found in a dumpster near campus with a gun.

"The Ohio State University Department of Athletics was shocked and saddened to learn today of the death of student-athlete Kosta Karageorge, a senior from Columbus," the school said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the Karageorge family, and those who knew him, during this most difficult time."

The 6-5, 285-pound defensive tackle had tattoos that helped confirm the death, Columbus police said. An official police report is expected later this week.

Karageorge's mother told authorities he has had concussions and spells of confusion, an earlier police report said. She said he texted a message Wednesday citing the concussions and saying he was sorry if he was "an embarrassment."

After Karageorge went missing, the team's physician, Jim Borchers, said he could not comment on the medical care of student athletes. But, he added, "We are confident in our medical procedures and policies to return athletes to participation following injury or illness."

Julian Bailes, neurosurgeon with the NorthShore Neurological Institute of suburban Chicago, said it is too early and the information is too incomplete to speculate on whether the death was related to concussions or the brain disease chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

"It's somewhat conjecture to think that's what led to his (apparent) suicide. We just don't know," said Bailes, a CTE researcher. "He is certainly not the typical CTE guy, only in college and so forth. So you don't know.

"The other things, which are often associated with suicide, are mental health issues and/or drug or substance abuse. I just don't know. I just read a little bit about it the day he went a missing.

"There are so many factors associated with suicide. You just don't know."

CTE is diagnosed by examination of the brain after death. Researchers have linked the disease to repetitive head trauma. It was diagnosed in the brains of former NFL players who committed suicide, such as Mike Webster, Junior Seau and Dave Duerson.

"(Whether to have the brain examined) would be up to his family and then maybe even the medical examiner, depending on the circumstances of his death," Bailes said.

"If there's a legal issue of circumstances, was it foul play or unknown or so forth, the medical examiner could chose to do it. But otherwise the family would have to request it."

The Buckeyes defeated Michigan on Saturday, 42-28. Defensive lineman Michael Bennett said afterward that Karageorge missed practices and that teammates started getting nervous Thursday.

Contributing: Scott Gleeson and Gary Mihoces of USA TODAY Sports; and The Associated Press.

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