Graham no fan of public injury reports

BY foxsports • September 19, 2012

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Injury disclosure has been a hot button issue in the Pac-12 Conference the past week, and Arizona State coach Todd Graham said Wednesday he would not be in favor of a conference-wide injury report.

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott last weekend said he would propose the concept at an October meeting of the conference's athletic directors. The idea of a formal conference injury report came in light of Southern California's ban of L.A. Daily News reporter Scott Wolf from practice after Wolf reported an injury, which the school deemed a violation of its policy. The ban has since been lifted.

Asked about the possibility of having to put out a weekly injury report, Graham cited a couple reasons he is not for it.

"This is not professional football," Graham said. "This is collegiate football, and I feel like there's some privacy issues and things like that. We don't want to take a chance putting kids in jeopardy."

To the last point, Graham was referring to players' specific injuries being targeted by opponents. With certain injuries, such as senior linebacker Brandon Magee's concussion two weeks ago, Graham refers to them only in generalities, without revealing the nature of the injury.

"I try to be as forthright as I can on those things," Graham said. "With media coming to practice, you can see if a guy is dressed out (or) not dressed out. I try to answer as honestly as I can about that, but being specific about a guy that has a beat up shoulder and he's my quarterback -- I don’t know."

Graham said he always discloses season-ending injuries, believing it unfair to the player involved to drag out the slight possibility of a return.

As coach at Pittsburgh last season, Graham had to submit a weekly injury report for the Big East Conference. Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez, whose first head coaching job was at Big East school West Virginia, has continued the practice of releasing a weekly injury report to the media, even though it is not required.

Media covering the Sun Devils are permitted to view the first hour of practice each day and are not restricted from reporting injury-related developments.

USC and Washington have been in the news recently for their mandates that reporters not report on any injury-related developments witnessed during practice. Other schools, including Stanford and Oregon, close their practices to the media entirely. Oregon State, meanwhile, opens its practices completely to both the media and the public.

Pac-12 newcomer Jim Mora at UCLA, who has an NFL background, said Monday he would be fine with whatever the conference decides regarding injury reports.

The varying policies create gray areas, and Scott said he would likely address the issue of practice access at the October meeting.


Graham said Monday he would like to get senior running back Cameron Marshall more touches -- he has just 25 carries through three games -- and Tuesday said Marshall had his best practice of the season. Both points beg the question: How will all that translate onto the field Saturday against Utah?

"We want him to play his best game," Graham said. "We want to get our best guys the football. If we win the game and Cameron gets it 40 times or 30 times or 25 times, great. But if he gets it two times and we win, I'm fine with that, too. But he is a veteran, he's our leader, and we need to get the ball to him.

"I'd like to see him have a breakout game. I'd like to see him have a 100- or 200-yard game. That will be pretty tough against (Utah)."

Marshall had just four carries for 15 yards against Missouri last week and has 81 yards and three touchdowns on the season.

With freshman D.J. Foster and junior Marion Grice emerging as options out of the backfield, Marshall has seen less action than expected. That could change as ASU faces tougher defenses during Pac-12 play.

Graham said Marshall's hamstring injury in fall camp has factored into his limited touches but added that Marshall is 100 percent now.


Due to a back injury, senior defensive lineman Corey Adams has yet to play a snap for ASU this season.

Graham revealed Wednesday that Adams' status is still uncertain, suggesting he could be out for the season.

"I thought he would be back," Graham said. "Is he going to be back? I don’t know. I really don't. He might not be back. He's trying like heck to get back, and we think he's going to be back."

When Adams' injury first surfaced, Graham said he expected Adams to be ready for Week 1. Adams has not practiced in recent weeks, instead riding a stationary bike on the sidelines. Should he not be able to play this year, Adams could return for a fifth season next year, as ASU could retroactively use his redshirt season for 2012.


-- Graham said freshman wide receiver Richard Smith is "getting better every day." He added that junior wideout Alonzo Agwuenu has had his best week. Team drills during the open portion of practice suggest there could be some changes on the receiving depth chart. Smith and junior Kyle Middlebrooks have taken snaps with the first team offense.

-- Offensive coordinator Mike Norvell told Graham he believes the offense has had its best week of preparation. That's significant considering Utah poses the stiffest defensive challenge for ASU's offense yet. Utah's defense ranks 15th in the nation in total defense, allowing 268.67 yards per game, second only to Oregon State (207.0) in the Pac-12.