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Lane Kiffin supports a uniform injury policy

USC v Stanford Getty Images

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) 

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12 Responses to “Lane Kiffin supports a uniform injury policy”
  1. southernpatriots says: Sep 20, 2012 6:36 PM

    Some coaches will report that a VIP player, let us say, a star starting QB, who all know is injured, is questionable about playing on Saturday, when he knows likely or definitely that his QB will not play, is that under or un-reporting? When a coach as a practice will not release injury reports (or release any details or specifics) is he not seeking a competitive advantage?

    I am swallowing hard, and I am trying to shield myself from lightning, but I agree with Lane Kiffin! Why advertise your injuries when your opponent does not do the same thing, or does not follow the same standard of identification and reporting as do you? Why give your opponent a competitive advantage?

    Reminds me of speaking with the Chief of Police of a south Louisiana town recently who said he reports all crimes committed in his jurisdiction but knows for certain that some bigger city Chiefs of Police over-report crimes in their jurisdiction to receive more federal and state money to “fight crime.” So here, we have “over-reporting” and in college football, we often have “under-reporting.”

    Uniform injury policy and reporting is a good idea, maybe even a great idea, but is unrealistic at present.

    “Getting every school to sign off on a uniform injury policy is, at best, unlikely.”

  2. seanb20124 says: Sep 20, 2012 7:06 PM

    Vegas needs to know

  3. Deb says: Sep 20, 2012 8:18 PM

    As I posted on another thread, the only reason for the NFL’s current injury-reporting policy is–as seanb20124 says–because Vegas need to know. The league is keeping the oddsmakers well-informed to facilitate gambling on the game. And that’s not the league’s function. It’s in the best interest of competition for opposing coaches not to know the injury status of key players prior to the game.

    Frankly, given how accommodating all sports leagues are to gambling interests, I’m surprised the NCAA hasn’t already set a uniform policy requiring all college teams to provide detailed injury reports. The NCAA doesn’t require sign-off for most of its other rules. Why should this one be any different?

  4. timh1955 says: Sep 20, 2012 9:24 PM

    Anything Kiffin is for I am against. He is a jerk as evidenced by how he threw Barkley under the bus after the Stanford game. He’s a complete jerk.

  5. tigersgeaux says: Sep 20, 2012 10:16 PM

    There is a way to have a uniform injury reporting policy, but it would not be Kiffin’s way. Have a non-reporting uniform injury reporting policy, do not report any injury, keep it all quiet.

  6. WingT says: Sep 20, 2012 10:16 PM

    I just don’t agree with having to report injuries. I understand that the media wants them but as Kiffin points out, why give your competition this information.

    Maybe, in addition to an injury report, they should go ahead and make it mandatory to report the first 15 plays they will run at the start of the game. I bet the media would like to have that info as well.

    Don’t report injuries and recognize that you will make adjustments to your game plan once the game starts.

    What’s the big deal , other than the media has their panties in a wad if they don’t get injury reports.

    We are talking about tackle football right?

  7. gfj7000 says: Sep 21, 2012 12:52 AM

    Kiffin is just setting the standard for hiding – he’s just a childish ‘wimp’. Go back and spend your time sailing your boat in Newport Beach, Lane! Then the press can’t find you there.

  8. arrogantnation says: Sep 21, 2012 1:10 AM

    Big Dick Kiff

  9. going4iton4th says: Sep 21, 2012 9:21 AM

    Lane Kiffin is a whiny baby that needs to thank his lucky stars he has a job.

  10. vincentbojackson says: Sep 21, 2012 10:54 AM

    What’s wrong with Kiffin and Leach just saying “no comment” whenever they’re asked about injuries. Eventually the media will stop asking. That’s better than ripping the media publicly (Leach) and storming off like a 5 year old (Kiffin).

  11. tigersgeaux says: Sep 22, 2012 9:27 AM


    That would work, if, IF, they would do it.

    It would be fun and wise if the NCAA would adopt uniform injury reporting policies…uniform NOT reporting policies, where hospitals now will not release patient records or reports even to relatives unless permission is expressly granted by the patient. If the NCAA would also govern themselves and their member schools as do hospitals and doctors now, privacy concerns would prohibit disclosing injury reports for gambling concerns.

  12. southernpatriots says: Sep 22, 2012 9:55 AM

    The Health Insurance and Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA): “The HIPAA Privacy Rule establishes a foundation of Federal protection for personal health information, carefully balanced to avoid creating unnecessary barriers to the delivery of quality health care. As such, the Rule generally prohibits a covered entity from using or disclosing protected health information unless authorized by patients, except where this prohibition would result in unnecessary interference with access to quality health care or with certain other important public benefits or national priorities. Ready access to treatment and efficient payment for health care, both of which require use and disclosure of protected health information, are essential to the effective operation of the health care system. In addition, certain health care operations—such as administrative, financial, legal, and quality improvement activities—conducted by or for health care providers and health plans, are essential to support treatment and payment. Many individuals expect that their health information will be used and disclosed as necessary to treat them, bill for treatment, and, to some extent, operate the covered entity’s health care business.”

    If the NCAA covers coaches and staff by HIPAA there will be silence on the matter of all injuries, with “no comment” or “you know we are not able to release that information to you” and ALL reporters will know the coaches can NOT release any of that information, so they eventually will stop asking them. I have emailed the NCAA and Emmert that this would be a wise policy for the NCAA to adopt since all it will take is one player or family member to object, file a law suit and likely a judge will come down on the side of privacy since that is a Constitutional principle.

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