By RALPH D. RUSSO AP College Football Writer
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Big 12 coaches are discussing the implementation of a standardized conference-wide injury report, but they would prefer some type of national uniformity.
The Big 12 is among six FBS conferences holding spring meetings at the same resort hotel in Arizona this week. The American Football Coaches Association also met this week.
Introducing NFL-style injury reports to college football has become more likely in the past year as legal wagering on sporting events has become more prevalent. Still, it’s a long way from becoming a reality.
Currently, the sharing of information about injured players varies from school to school. A Supreme Court decision last year opened the door for states to implement sports gambling. Eight states have jumped in with some form of legal sports wagering.
Texas coach Tom Herman says the conference wants to be prepared for a national movement toward injury reports.
“I just want it to be unified,” Herman said Tuesday. “I think the whole AFCA, everybody would have to be on the same page.” Even within the Big 12, coaches take a wide-range of approaches when it comes to transparency about injuries.
Baylor coach Matt Rhule said as long an injury report doesn’t not conflict with federal patient and student privacy law he is OK with providing status reports on injured players.
“I want to give the media and the fans the best information, but I want to make sure I’m doing it the right way,” Rhule said.
With legalized wagering spreading, the concern is injury information could become a commodity for gamblers looking to gain an advantage. An injury report ostensibly puts it all above board, though even in the NFL coaches can be less than forthright.
“I think it’s a grander college football, AFCA, conference commissioners, issue,” Rhule said. “I think as coaches we’re always wired to not give away stuff. But I think it has to be a bigger conversation.”
AFAC executive director Todd Berry said it’s probably time for some national guidelines for injury reporting in college football, even if coaches can avoid detailing specific injuries and use vague terms such as lower body and upper body.
“I’m concerned without having some kind of national consistency we’re maybe doing ourselves a disservice,” Berry said.