Posted by Adam Jacobi
Ohio State running back Jaamal Berry was involved in a strange incident on campus on Wednesday morning, according to OSU police, and the sophomore running back was hospitalized after allegedly assaulting another student. No charges have been filed on Berry, but as the Ohio State Lantern reports, that may be because Berry took the worst of the punishment by far:
Berry's name was the only one blacked out of the report but multiple sources confirmed to The Lantern that he was the other student involved. The OSU police report listed the incident as an assault, a misdemeanor in the first degree, with use of weapons including "hands, feet, teeth."
At about 10:25 a.m., two males were witnessed "wrestling on the ground" in the South Oval, according to the police report. The primary witness is a university employee who declined to comment, but said in the police report that Berry was muttering things such as "I don't know what is going on around me."
The report said Berry "appeared confused and disoriented and was unable to tell me his name."
The OSU police officer on the scene observed that Berry was "mentally unable to provide me with any of his emergency contact information," and Berry voluntarily went to the OSU emergency department.
From that description of events, there is every indication that Berry suffered either a concussion or some other traumatic brain event during the course of the alleged assault, and though we are obviously not doctors and Berry's medical records are not about to be made public, the witness description of Berry's mental state after the alleged assault certainly doesn't sound like somebody who should be practicing or taking hits from opposing defenses any time soon. In fact, it sounded like the only place Berry should have gone was the OSU Medical Center, and we're glad he went there voluntarily.
Berry rushed for 266 yards on 32 carries as a redshirt freshman last season, and he has seen extremely limited action in the last three games this season, even with presumptive top tailback Dan Herron currently serving a five-game suspension and emerging star Jordan Hall suspended for the first two games of the year.
Being that Hall and Herron's absences have been insufficient to get Berry on the field in any reliable context, it's unlikely Ohio State will miss Berry's production over the next few weeks -- especially with Herron returning from suspension after this week's game against MSU. But with an incident as weird as this, and with Berry's state of mind so clearly imperiled by whatever happened to him, the primary concern here is that he acts responsible and steps away from football until he's ready to go again.
For the record, the Lantern reported that the other member of the alleged fight Berry was in did not have his name blacked out of the police report, so one must assume that if it were anybody of public note, his name would have been either blacked out or made (extremely) public. Columbus isn't exactly a media atmosphere known for restraint and secrecy, after all. So in other words, being that it's extremely unlikely that Berry was fightint a teammate, it seems vastly more likely that this is a Jaamal Berry problem than an Ohio State problem.