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Lane Kiffin’s Thursday media session makes it past minute mark; Pac-12 contemplates NFL-style injury report


Ask me anything, but don’t you dare say the word “injury.” (Danny Moloshok/Reuters)

That’s how long it took for him to get miffed and storm off after a reporter asked about how an injured player’s return to practice could help the team’s offense look “crisp.” (Video below.)

As Kiffin approached the media for Thursday’s session, he set the bar higher: “Let’s see if we can make it past a minute today.” He did, and the 12 questions he answered were more to his liking.

Late last month, the 13th-ranked Trojans introduced a new (Belichickian) policy that banned media from reporting on injury news they observed during practices. But this reporter didn’t catch on, even after USC banned a reporter from attending practices for two days for reporting on an injury that occurred away from practice.

Via ESPNLosAngeles.com, the new policy requests that media members attending team practices “not report on strategy or injuries that are observed during the course of watching that practice or result from that practice.”

Translation: if someone gets hurt, put on your blindfold and cover your ears.

Concealing injures has long been a practice in professional sports — the NFL and NHL chief among them — but college coaches are trying their hardest to join the practice. As the New York Times reported this week, fellow Pac-12 schools Oregon, UCLA, Utah, Washington and Washington State have all adopted similar restrictions for media reporting on injuries, and the conference plans to discuss the prospect of introducing an NFL-style weekly injury report when its athletic directors meet early next month.

“In the ’70s you could hide injuries, or in the ’80s you could hide injuries, and no one would ever know,” Washington athletic director Scott Woodward said. “You can’t hide anything now.”

Washington State Coach Mike Leach is not a fan of injury report idea.

“I think it’s a horrible idea,” he told the New York Times. “It’s journalism at its most pitiful level.”

Follow us: @MattBrooksWP | @CindyBoren

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