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Monday, September 17, 2007

Miles' injury philosophy hurting

BATON ROUGE - In the overall scheme of things during what looks very much like a national championship year, this does not matter very much.

But what's stupid is stupid. And here is another example of Lying State University.

LSU coach Les Miles' philosophy toward relaying injury information is very stupid. It's not completely his fault, though, because he is a football coach, and football coaches tend to see things in a very narrow way, which is one reason why many of them are very successful. But they often view changing their mind on something as a weakness instead of what it can often be as time goes by, which is smart.

This is where coaches need a little assistance or advice from their sports information staff or athletic department staff, which at major colleges like LSU are tremendously overstaffed but do have some very talented people.

These talented people at LSU are not doing their jobs in this area. Someone needs to tell Miles that his injury information policy is stupid and needs to be altered. If they have already tried, they need to try again.

For example, one of LSU's best football players - wide receiver Early Doucet - has a groin injury.

We know that because some of his teammates told us. We also talked to some other people outside of LSU that would know. Miles has talked at length about how Doucet got hurt freakishly in a non-contact drill on Friday. Yet he won't say or confirm what part of Doucet was injured.

I purposefully did not include Miles not confirming Doucet's groin injury in a story in Monday papers because I know it's a groin because players told me it was. Players are young and the young usually tell the truth more than people over 30. In addition, Miles is on record as saying he will be "evasive" with the truth concerning injuries for strategic purposes. (While a Michigan assistant, the Wolverines won a game because they knew a lot of injury information about the opponent. They probably would've won the game anyway, but he doesn't realize that.)

Miles is also on record as lying or being mistaken about his own players' injuries. He and the sports information staff have also changed injuries while that player was not practicing. In other words, I understand coaches and athletic department people have to lie at times, but at least lie with some efficiency. Get your stories straight. I understand coaches not wanting to be specific about an injury, because opponents may try to zero in on the injured area and hurt the player more. But I don't think that happens as much as coaches say. And players are trying to hurt all parts of players anyway.

Coaches mainly lie about injuries because they can and they like playing little games. Now they're trying to use HIPAA (Heatlth Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) as a reason not to divulge injury information. HIPAA came about for the privacy of individuals concerning their health care and insurance, not for football coaches who think they're military leaders.

Therefore, Miles or his handlers confirming or not confirming an injury doesn't really matter because they've lost their credibility on injuries because of their stated "evasive" policy. That's why Miles' non-confirmation didn't make my story.

Coaches need to realize that most of the time - like this time - the injury news is going to get out anyway. So they need to realize that they need to get out at the front of the information. That way they can control it, and coaches like control almost as much as winning. This is what the media savvy coaches do. This is what Miles needs to start doing. Now, Miles is leaving so many questions unanswered about injuries that he leaves his players and his players' contacts vulnerable to questions that he could have at least partly answered.

Miles' handling of Doucet's injury has caused more questions and rumors than if he had just said what it is. In this example, he has thus caused more pain for his player.

He did the same thing with quarterback Matt Flynn's ankle injury two weeks ago. Miles never said it was an ankle, which was ridiculous because any human with eyes could tell how Flynn was limping that it was his ankle. Trainers also were seen working on his ankle. Tape on his ankle was also seen, but Miles will not say it's his ankle. Unbelievable.

If Miles had been more forthright about Flynn's injury and playing status as most other coaches are, another reporter would not have called Flynn's father. This got Miles and his handlers very upset at the reporter. But Flynn's father didn't have to speak to the reporter. And he would never have been called if the football coach had a better injury policy.

If the football coach had a better injury policy, Early Doucet would not be under a cloud of mystery and rumor right now.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Totally disagree. Giving out injury reports allows your competition to change the direction of their preparation.

Why would you want to help out the other team?

Also why are there no comments to your blogs? Do you just not post them?

11:32 AM  
Blogger Shawn said...

Who cares about his injury policy, oh wait, you do.

11:42 AM  
Anonymous 4EverLSU said...

He's laying misinformation (check the tape on Flynn's ankles during the MTSU game)...and by your own post...it appears to be working. Why complain about a scheme that from the onset was to confuse and confound? It appears to be doing its job, and while it keeps Tiger Faithful from knowing which cards to hope for...it also keeps opponents from knowing which defenses to deploy. Who blames a coach for playing his cards close to his chest...?

8:09 PM  

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