Monday, September 17, 2012
Mora wouldn't fight mandatory injury reports
By Peter Yoon
If the Pac-12 institutes an injury reporting policy similar to that used by the NFL, UCLA would not fight it, coach Jim Mora said Monday.
In the wake of reporters being banned from USC and UCLA for reporting on injuries, in addition to Washington announcing an new policy banning the reporting of injuries, Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said over the weekend he would broach the subject of mandating injury reports during a meeting with Pac-12 athletic directors next month.
Mora, who spent nearly his entire career in the NFL before taking the UCLA job last year, didn't have any complaints about that idea.
"I think if it's across the board and everyone is held to the same standard with it, I don't have a problem with it, at all," Mora said. "It works in the NFL."
Current policies at UCLA, USC, Washington and several other Pac-12 schools prohibit media members from reporting on any injury, strategy or position switches observed at practice. The reasoning is so that opponents don't have that information during game planning; but it also deprives fans of information.
Until a few weeks ago, Mora said he was unaware that he was not required to give a public injury report and stopped doing so as soon as practices became closed to the public at the end of training camp. The team has since enforced a strict reporting policy, even issuing a one-day ban on a reporter last week for writing observations about inured players.
"Any time a coach doesn't have to divulge information that his opponents can find useful in game planning against them, then we're going to try not to do that," Mora said. "But if it's what we have to do, then we do it and we just deal with it"
Mora said one of the biggest reasons an injury report is required in the NFL is because of the betting industry. He said he was fine with that, too, but wasn't necessarily in favor of it.
"They worry about the bettors," Mora said. "Some bettors have more information than others so they try to streamline the information, and I think that's fine. But from a coach's perspective, any time that you lose a competitive advantage it’s hard."
That is especially true, he said, if everyone isn't reporting with the same level of accuracy. In the NFL, he said, injury reports don't always tell the whole truth.
"I think there are some coaches that understand how to manipulate it a little bit and they try to," Mora said.
But should it become a conference edict to issue injury reports, Mora said he would not become one of those coaches.
"We won't try to manipulate it if there's a rule put into effect," Mora said. "That's not our style. We'll be compliant."