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Pac-12 Confidential

Bud Withers offers an inside look at the Pac-12 Conference and the national college scene.

September 19, 2012 at 5:28 PM

Exhibit A for why the UW injury/practice edict is problematic . . .

You’re probably getting tired of reading/hearing about the ramifications of Washington’s decision last week to require reporters attending football practice not to write about injuries (believe me, I’m getting tired of writing about it, too).

Today at USC, we had a glimpse of the massive gray area created by such a policy. For background, USC implemented such a policy this year, and last week, coach Lane Kiffin banned a reporter from the LA Daily News from practice for what Kiffin considered a breach in the policy (Kiffin later reinstated the reporter and apologized).

But after today’s USC practice, Kiffin had his regular, impromptu press briefing. He provided a quick statement on how he thought it went (which was well), and a reporter asked him if part of that had to do with the return of a player who had been injured. An apparently miffed Kiffin said abruptly, “I gotta go,” and left. The session lasted all of 29 seconds.

Not saying UW coach Steve Sarkisian would react the same way to such a question. But it does illustrate that with such a policy, there are going to be all sorts of scenarios that can’t be clearly anticipated or defined before they happen, and — at best — it’s going to take a lot of wiggle room and understanding to make it work.

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