Tune into any coaches post-practice press conference and chances are really, really good that a reporter is asking for an injury update on a few players.
However, there are a number of coaches in college football who have a policy with reporters that they won’t discuss injuries to players, for a variety of reasons.
Perhaps most famous is this incident with Dan Mullen at Mississippi State back in 2012 where a reporter asked him about some injured players after their first fall practice. after a few short answers, Mullen got up and threatened to walk out of the room, reminding players of their policy that they don’t discuss injuries with the media (starting at about the 1-minute mark).
NFL coaches don’t have that flexibility, as mandatory injury reports have been around since 1946. Access to those accurate, timely injury reports has become invaluable to an industry like the sports gambling industry, where lines and bets are made based on the names and information in those injury reports.
Dennis Dodd of CBS wrote a piece today that suggests that mandated injury reports may be coming to college football as well, in the wake of the recent Supreme Court decision to allow states to legalize sports betting.
From a coaches perspective, not talking about injuries means that opponents may have to prepare for a guy that won’t see the field, or will only see the field in a limited role come game day, and other coaches say that not disclosing injuries is in the best interest of the student athlete and their HIPPA rights. Still, the multi-billion dollar sports betting industry is going to want the most accurate information possible, so it’s a possibility that coaches could eventually be compelled to share that information that they’d much rather keep under wraps.
Head over to CBS to read Dobbs’s full, informative piece that tackles multiple angles on the issue.