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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Is Practice Closing a Panic Move by Miles?

BATON ROUGE - The last open football practice of the 2009 season was last Monday. I say open, but it's more like a peep hole. Since Nick Saban became LSU's coach in 2000, reporters have been allowed to watch about 10-15 minutes of the early portion of practice and then werre escorted out.

Since about all one can gather over that span are injuries and absentee players, and those make great news nuggets, that was about all that we got from the practices. LSU coach Les Miles does not like injury information to get out, which is why he so often lies about his players' injuries, which is fine. All coaches do it. Few lie as transparently as Miles, but they all do it. But the reporters usually were able to find out what they needed anwyay.

This give and take went on in the 2005, '06, '07 and '08 seasons, and Miles did close practice all together in 2007 and 2008 after key losses. Information Miles didn't like getting out kept getting out, but it didn't really matter because he lost just two games in each of his first four seasons. In fact injury information never won or lost a football game in the history of the game.

Football coaches are just paranoid, have seen too many war movies and they think injury knowledge matters. Meanwhile, baseball coaches not only tell you who's hurt, but they tell you who's pitching today, tomorrow and the next day. Therefore, baseball coaches are real men.

But I digress.

This summer Miles decided he was going to close practices all together because too much injury information was getting out. The question is this. Why didn't he close practice in all season long in '06, '07 or '08? Because 2009 is his first season coming off an 8-5 season. So I guess we reporters lost all those games.

Sorry about that.

But does this mean I won all those games in 2007?

In truth, it does not matter to me that practices are hereby completely closed. It will give me more time to write, blog, tweet, email, chat and whatever else they think of next. This policy could actually lead to more accurate stories, because several writers who cover LSU were trying to glean far more than is possible from a 15-minute practice peek. For example, just because a regular starter is not with the first team does not always mean anything. He could be with the first team later after the media is gone, or the coaches may be working on depth. They know what Richard Dickson can do. They don't have to keep seeing it. But many reporters didn't realize this and went with what they saw in their peek without checking with contacts who watch all of practice.

But Miles' move at this time worries me. Is he blaming the media for the poor coaching his team received last season? But the most worrisome thing is this. LSU coaches who have completely closed practices never won again. Those were Gerry DiNardo and Curley Hallman.

11 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Guilbeau,

How you are allowed to continue writing articles for LSU BEAT is beyond me. In every article you tend to show such disdain for LSU. I know as a columnist you feel it is your duty to enlighten us with your viewpoints as they pertain to LSU, but in every article you publish, you come across as a shrew, always harping and being overly critical of LSU and Les Miles.

10:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why do you hate les miles so much??

10:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look at the bright side, now you don't have to mask your articles w/ some injury or practice report. You can go straight to Miles bashing without pretext.

11:46 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

So if I'm reading this correctly, you are against Miles' injury reporting and his closed practice. Correct?

11:51 AM  
Blogger geauxgrrl said...

Glen, when are you going to become a real sportswriter instead of a poopstirrer? Geez, injury reports never won a game, but there's no need to let your opposition know any weaknesses in advance. It's smart to make your opponent spend time preparing for all of your weapons even if some can't play in the game.

12:24 PM  
Anonymous Keff said...

This is horrible, lazy journalism. If LSU had more beat writers like you I'd probably become a Tulane fan.

Grow up, man.

12:42 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

If it doesn't matter to Guilbeau whether Miles closes practice or not, why does he attend and report on the fifteen minutes of practices that have been open to reporters? Accusing Miles of lying and panicking is nothing but pathetic, childish sour grapes.

1:21 PM  
Blogger Travis said...

How can you make such a huge leap with a title like "Is Practice Closing a Panic Move by Miles?", and then excoriate writers for "gleaning" too much from 15 minutes of practice?

2:14 PM  
Blogger matthew said...

Glen, you should hang out outside the Ponderosa and wait for Miles, so you can let him know that he's not a real man. Having met you in person, I am confident this would go well for you.

3:37 PM  
Anonymous ewrocknroll said...

I get so sick of reading anything by Guilbeau. He either hates LSU, or it's the only way to get people to read his columns. I'm just amazed that newspapers continue to print the crap he puts out. I'm not saying he should be a "homer", but he goes way beyond any pretense of impartiality.

4:00 PM  
Blogger John Smith said...

If closing practice a panic move, then many football coaches are definitely panicking.

This blog sounds more like it comes from a frustrated, bitter blog writer who can't cover LSU football like he or she wants to.

It's kind of like a child who pouts and throws temper tamtrums when he or she doesn't get their way. We adults have seen children behave in this manner many times before, so this blog comes as no surprise to others who have some assemblance of common sense and reasonable judgment.

6:32 PM  

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