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Pac-12 Confidential

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

October 11, 2012 at 9:29 PM

A quick death for the Pac-12 injury-report proposal?

I’m hearing that the idea of a league-wide weekly injury report, a subject that arose in September over media coverage of injuries, didn’t get a lot of traction when athletic directors discussed it this week in San Francisco.

“It’s back to the schools,” said a Pac-12 spokesman, meaning that the proposal didn’t gain the kind of league-wide support it needed.

The crux of the problem is, there’s nothing approaching unanimity among the league coaches about it. Washington State’s Mike Leach openly said he wouldn’t adhere to such a policy awhile back, and the WSU AD, Bill Moos, told me recently his inclination was to support Leach’s decision on the matter.

Meanwhile, Chip Kelly of Oregon has always had a policy of no discussion of injuries, so we can assume what his stance on the matter is.

There’s also the matter of medical-confidentiality laws, but that’s an issue that can be — and has been — avoided by athletes signing waivers.

When the subject was a hot topic a few weeks ago, I checked with a spokesman in the ACC, which has such a policy, and he made it clear that it worked but that it wasn’t necessarily forever, because it was in the hands of the coaches. In fact, he said the reports weren’t issued through the league, but the schools themselves, so it sounded more like a gentleman’s agreement.

The gentlemen of the Pac-12 have decided, at least for now, that such an approach is not for them.

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott indicated the league would consider the matter after USC coach Lane Kiffin banned a reporter from practice for writing about an injury, against Kiffin’s policy. About that time, UW coach Steve Sarkisian established a policy in which a requirement of attending practice is an agreement not to write about injuries.

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