Big Ten ADs Propose NCAA Football Injury Report
James Franklin preaches that he doesn’t publicly talk about injuries, but he may soon have to disclose injuries in a weekly national report.
With the Supreme Court decision to repeal the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which banned sports betting almost nationwide, and many states — including Pennsylvania — moving forward with new sports betting regulations, Big Ten athletic directors have proposed a weekly football injury report to “protect the integrity of the game,” according to a report from CBS Sports.
College coaches around the country have different policies with disclosing injuries. It’s not uncommon to take the Franklin approach and discuss week-to-week injuries as little as possible.
“Number one, football coaches typically are paranoid,” James Franklin told reporters back in 2015 about keeping injuries private, elaborating that “I want to know who is playing each position, that played the previous week, what their numbers are, know what their strength/weaknesses are; if their starting corner goes out, and their backup comes in, we’re going to try and throw a go [route] on that guy.”
“As early as you can get that information, the better, because it has a big impact on your game plan and what you’re trying to do. Basically, I know what we value, and I try to take those things away as much as I can from those opponents.”
The NFL mandates three practice participation reports during the week, as well as a game status report due the Friday before Sunday games.
The Big Ten used the NFL’s injury reporting system as context, but isn’t proposing something quite as in depth. Instead, it would focus on reporting known injuries that would affect a player’s status for the weekend.
“In football, we’re going to kill this [idea of] gamesmanship around injuries,” said Ohio State AD Gene Smith, according to CBS Sports.
One obstacle to an NCAA injury report would be student privacy laws, including the ever-confusing Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) that has often been cited as a reason for college coaches not disclosing injuries.
Essentially, a university can be set up with all of its entities subject to HIPAA laws — which could prohibit athletics officials from releasing health information — or set up with hybrid units — which would separate the athletic department from HIPAA-compliant health care components and not subject athletics officials to the same disclosure policies.
To comply with HIPAA regulations, athletes would need to consent to the disclosure of their health information.
As stakeholders insist college football players are just amateur “student-athletes,” this proposal begs the question: Are we really asking them to withdraw their student privacy rights so people can get a fair shake at making money from betting on their games?