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Malzahn understands criticism but “never told any player to fake an injury”

Gus Malzahn AP

Players faking injuries with the attempt of slowing down the opposing offense seems to pop up every week, and it is quite annoying. Annoying for fans watching, but infuriating for coaches who can see right through the fake pain being suffered by players on the field. One such incident appeared to take place Saturday night during Auburn’s road victory at Arkansas. Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn has since distanced himself from the alleged fake injury nonsense as any coach would, but he does understand why questions have been raised after seeing the video.

“At the time I did not see it happen, but after watching the TV copy I could see why people questioned it,” Malzahn said in a report by “I’ve coached for 23 years and I’ve never told any player to fake an injury.”

Whether Malzahn has ever instructed a player directly to take a dive or not may never be known for sure, but the video of Auburn linebacker Anthony Swain is pretty tough to argue against the idea the Tigers defensive player took a rather quick fall out of nowhere as the Razorbacks were pushing toward the end zone for a score. In the video shown below, you can see Swain standing on the field when all of a sudden he falls to the ground in supposed pain.

The fact that the alleged fake injury occurred against Arkansas could just be a coincidence or a bit of irony. Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema has gone on record on the past suggesting up-tempo offenses that are catching on around the sport have a negative effect on players and the game. Malzahn, who has thrived coaching that style of offense has taken a contradicting stance on the issue.

Helmet sticker to Guyism for the video.

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6 Responses to “Malzahn understands criticism but “never told any player to fake an injury””
  1. Deb says: Nov 5, 2013 6:23 PM

    That was pretty funny, but I’ve seen better (worse?) examples in the pros. What football needs are a few rules giving defenses a little edge–the way all these rules now give offenses the edge.

  2. doctorlb says: Nov 5, 2013 6:31 PM

    I have had an injury that came on without warning. The medical staff also advises players to sit down if they think they might have an injury that could be activated by staying up.
    I don’t know what happened here, but considering Swain NEVER re-entered the game, I’d go with minor injury.
    Either way, ESPN, Tessitore, and Millen owe Swain, Malzahn, and Auburn an apology for the way they carried on with the accusations.
    It would be fine if CFB instituted a multi-play (2-3 plays?) suspension of a player that went down with an injury. I’m sure Bielema would support that, since he would not want an Auburn player to be injured………

  3. doctorlb says: Nov 5, 2013 6:33 PM

    activated = aggravated!
    (how did auto-correct come up with that???)

  4. normtide says: Nov 5, 2013 7:32 PM

    Expect to see more if this, like it or not. Safety concerns prohibit any rule against it. And, like Deb said, the offenses have the edge, defenses have to do something. Don’t give me the “offense sells tickets” line. If that is true, why isn’t arena football a hit? The only thing I see changing going forward: teams will be better at faking.

  5. 8to80texansblog says: Nov 5, 2013 8:53 PM

    Need to make the injury rule stricter. Injured players can’t come back in that series. That would make coaches think twice about faking injuries.

  6. be4bama says: Nov 6, 2013 8:32 AM

    I didn’t know what had happened. At first I thought a sniper had took him down. His fall did resemble a fainting goat.

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