Washington State head coach Mike Leach told reporters on Wednesday that access to the program would be denied to those who reported injuries that occurred during practice, according to Christian Caple.
This isn't new to the Pac-12 conference. Washington and USC implemented similar policies last season, and Lane Kiffin even followed through by banning reporter Scott Wolf from games and practice.
I do not care if coaches don't comment on injuries. It's fine. That's their right, and they can stay silent or brush of questions however they please -- and I've seen just about every way of diving, dodging and avoiding injury questions at Washington State. That's not threatening punishment for ... being a reporter. For reporting what you see. For informing the public, as is their job.
It is a reporter's job (to report). And those jobs exist because there is so much interest in college football that daily news from practice is demanded from fans.
That same interest is the reason Mike Leach is a millionaire. Football only generates revenue through fan interest--TV contracts, gate receipts, merchandise, concessions and the like. If Leach and his colleagues want to create a world in which everything is done in secret, then they are biting the hand that feeds them.
It's obvious that coaches do this in hope of gaining some sort of perceived competitive advantage. But if they are going to ban injury reporting, why not take it a step further and ban reporting altogether?
When a freshman like River Cracraft has a breakout day, that gets spread around. Suddenly, people can infer that because he is doing so well, he is likely to play on Saturdays. Now the competition also knows this. They also know the published depth charts and can watch film (that the coaches give each other).
Does Leach also want us to stop writing about the games? What if an opponent looks at a box score and sees who was playing and how they did? What if someone figures out that Leach likes to throw the ball a lot?
Coaches: Your chosen profession is very public. That might make your job a little harder at times, but there is good news!
You are compensated well to figure out how to overcome those challenges. Stop trying to play Minister of Truth (and please win more than three games).