Concealing Injury Reports

As of October 1, 2011, UCLA begins a new policy of hiding football injuries from the public. Well, not exactly.

Most of us have become the information consumers of an information age, when anything and everything we want is just a search away. Interested in finding out if your favorite running back will play this weekend? Just Google their name and you’ll find a thousand articles from that day alone. Need to know whether a quarterback’s wrist is really broken? Do a quick search on Bing and there it is. Minute by minute updates have become a trend of modern technology; a feature that many of us take for granted.

The problem, as UCLA sees it, is that every injured player deserves a certain amount of medical privacy before the mobs raid their hospital rooms or start a media circus at the family home. Starting this month, only the coach will be permitted to speak about player injuries and he will only do so twice a week. Perhaps most valuable to these athletes is that as a result of their injuries, they will not be available for interviews, and players injured during practice will not have access to the media.

But is this all about protecting the players? Not exactly. Much of this new policy is a result of the horrifying 45-19 loss to Stanford, when it was learned that Stanford coaches were acquiring the UCLA injury report in order to prepare for playing against those potentially weakened athletes on the other side of the ball. Cheap shot by Stanford. Or so we believe. Professional football players often think the same way about their weakened opponents, so it’s difficult to scold Stanford for doing the same thing. But lest we forget that these are still just college kids, the need for a little privacy is only reasonable.

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