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Local athletic officials react to NFL concussion settlement

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - From high school to college ball and the pros, football players take a beating on their bodies.

Many might tell you they've had their bell rung more than once.

The NFL has reached a tentative $765 million settlement over concussion related brain injuries with 4,000 former players.

"The players are getting bigger and stronger and faster and so a settlement like today I think might be a rock for the future," says former NFL player Paul McFadden.

Former NFL player Paul McFadden's two sons play the game, one at Poland High School, the other at Youngstown State University.

Part of the settlement involves more research on how to make the game safer for all ages.

"When someone gets hurt, it's not what anyone else wants to see happening. We need to find ways to make it safer," McFadden says.

Team physicians at YSU say diagnosis is the key.

"Even the hardest hit. You don't have to get a concussion and a hit that doesn't look that hard can lead to a concussion. It's tough to diagnose sometimes but that's why we tell the players you've got to tell us to keep you safe," says Jim Shina, YSU physician.

The trainer for Campbell's football team encourages parents to look for the warning signs.

"Look for any kind of change in cognition, change in sleeping patterns, any kind of headaches," says head trainer Mark Rasetta.

To prevent concussions, football players are now trained not to run with their heads down and to tackle by striking the lower part of the body, but some argue that could lead to career ending leg injuries.

"I think all in all, all the rule changes and those things that are taking place are in the best interest of the students," says YSU Athletic Director Ron Strollo.

Hopefully with increased awareness, these young players will never have to suffer from concussion-related injuries.

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