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Teams should tell us about injuries. Why?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Versatile, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    Jemele Hill thinks Collin Klein's unspecified ailment should effect change in college sports regarding the cloaking of injuries.

    It would be great to have more information on injuries, as a fan and as a journalist. But then I think about things like the Saints' bounty scandal and other assorted tales of opponents doing what they can to take advantage of injuries. That makes sense. That's how I would play. That's how I want my team to play. But it also works against the theory that injuries should be public knowledge. I put my fanboi cap on, and I would rather have everyone outside the locker room in the dark about Alabama's injuries than know all the details.

    My biggest issue with this column is that it's another screed about teams making it hard for reporters to do their jobs. Readers don't want to hear it. Media members love to complain, and on a message board among kindred spirits, that's fine. But expecting readers to be empathetic to things making our jobs difficult is a failing cause. We're not protecting democracy by covering a quarterback's injury issues. There's no freedom of the press issue at stake here. We get to go to the games, talk to the players and coaches and have our names in the paper. And we get paid to do that. And to most readers who haven't walked a mile in our shoes, that's a pretty damn sweet gig.

    Hill attempts to broaden the affect group with this argument that without transparency, we don't know if the coaches are doing right by their players. That argument is pretty lame. These are medical professionals following established protocols, and they know much more about that concussion or that broken tibia or that bruised knee than webmd.com, sports reporters and the general populace. The point here is the news should be released because it's news and because people care. That's accurate, but it arguably doesn't justify a mandate on transparency.
  2. Wouldn't being more transparent about injuries force teams to sit unhealthy players? For example, if Colin Klein has a concussion and he played, Bill Snyder would be opening himself to criticism from media/fans/potential recruits. If Klein had a major concussion, it would be harder to play him.
  3. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Injury reports are a function of NFL teams long ago trying to rid the games of a gambling influence. I don't buy it so much anymore for the NFL. But in college that's a very necessary step.
  4. Lack of transparency also increases the importance of "inside information" for gamblers, which increases the likelihood that, say, the student manager could have some very valuable tidbits to share.
  5. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    I'll third the motion: The proper argument is related to gambling. And make no mistake, college kids gamble like the dickens.
  6. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Incidentally, I heard a game recently (last week I think) featuring Jemele Hill as a sideline reporter. She is terrible.
  7. Cubbiebum

    Cubbiebum Member

    I covered a game she was there to write about. She sat outside the interview room on her cell phone until towards the end of the interview where she then popped in and asked two questions and left again. If you have to for deadline, I understand getting out as fast as you can. However, it has always seemed arrogant to me when reporters think they won't learn anything for another's question.
  8. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    Totally agree with this.

    I went to Oregon, covered Oregon and Oregon State football for a while, and now live 1500 miles from Eugene. I HATED dealing with the Oregon football staff. They were a massive pain in the ass, particularly compared to OSU. And this was in the Rich Brooks era -- it's infinitely worse under Chip Kelly.

    And now that I'm totally removed from covering them, I don't care a bit about any of that. I fully understand why the team is aggravating for beat writers, but if Kelly doesn't talk about injuries -- or much of anything else -- I don't care at all. If he was a public douche about it like Lane Kiffin it would bother me, but he isn't.

    And I thought it was cute that Jemele Hill made the gambling issue a one line throwaway buried 3/4 of the way down the article. Gambling is the only legit argument. That is why the rule exists in the NFL, period. If colleges adopt a similar rule it will be because of gambling, not because of journalist pressure or some nebulous argument about player welfare.
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