Rich Brooks began every press conference by reading an injury report. It was a carryover from his NFL days in which the league office made it a requirement. Coaches were supposed to be upfront about injuries. Bill Belichick doesn’t always follow that rule, but then Bill has broken a rule or two in the past.
Joker Phillips was not as forthcoming. Brooks’ successor would seldom volunteer news about his players’ physical conditions. If you knew something, or heard something, he would confirm. Maybe. But, as the week leading up to UK’s historic 10-7 win over Tennessee — Phillips never divulged to what extend his quarterbacks were injured, much less that wide receiver Matt Roark would start at quarterback — Phillips was not above placing the media in the dark.
Mark Stoops’ injury publicizing policy has fallen somewhere between the two. In the spring, he did reveal that Donte Rump was out with a shoulder injury and needed surgery, but was vague about when it happened and the severity of the injury. He’s been more forthcoming during fall camp, but let it be known last week that was now over.
“I’ve been lenient with you guys on injuries until now,” he said.
He repeated that today at his first game-week press luncheon.
“I’ve been very lenient with you all on that,” he said when asked about Cody Quinn’s ankle. (Stoops says Quinn will be ready to go Saturday, which is why he’s first-team on the depth chart.)
Purpose of this is not to say Brooks is right and Stoops is wrong, or vice versa. Purpose is to say that not all coaches think alike when it comes to such issues, especially about what the public has a right to know and what the opponents should or should not know and how much it matters.
If you were a coach, how would you treat publicizing injuries?
Herald-Leader photo/Charles Bertram