To release or not release. That’s been the question it seems when it comes to injury news, and not just with USC coach Lane Kiffin, either. Though Kiffin’s been the poster child for getting all worked up over reporting injuries, the fact is that inconsistencies with injury policies has built up even more tension between coaches and media than what already existed.
Speaking with media after practice on Thursday — no, he didn’t storm off this time — Kiffin agreed that a uniform injury policy similar to the one the NFL uses would help smooth things over.
“The whole thing is not being at a competitive disadvantage. We play a number of teams that don’t talk about their injuries. For us to tell them who’s going to play and who’s not, I don’t know how that could make sense to anybody. So yeah, that would solve all these issues.”
Anyone who has followed the Kiffin/media brouhaha over injuries on this site knows that I’m a supporter of weekly injury reports similar to how the NFL approaches the subject. The core of it all is that I’m selfish. I want content that (most of the time) is of interest to someone. That’s part of my job, and that’s part of the sports media’s job a whole. But it’s Kiffin’s job to go out there and win games, and if he feels he’s at a competitive disadvantage to divulge injuries while opponents are not, then that’s understandable.
That’s why it should be a uniform matter. Some coaches don’t like the idea — Mike Leach said reporters seeking injury news “is journalism at its most pitiful level” — but it would greatly reduce moments like the one Kiffin had with the media on Wednesday where he walked away from a press conference after 30 seconds. No one gains anything from that.
This is all idealistic thinking, mind you. Getting every school to sign off on a uniform injury policy is, at best, unlikely.
(Hat tip: OC Register)