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Big Ten Mandates Injury Reports Before Football Games

Update (7:19 p.m.)— It’s official.

A new rule is reportedly on the verge of coming to the Big Ten, and Penn State coach James Franklin might be among those who don’t like it.

Andy Greder of St. Paul Minnesota’s Pioneer press reported Friday afternoon that Big Ten football is expected to start requiring player availability reports ahead of games.

These reports would need to be released two hours before kickoff, and all that’s standing in the way is approval by the conference’s schools.

A source told the Action Network’s Brett McMurphy “I’d be shocked if it didn’t pass,” so the feeling appears to be that it will.

It’s generally believed that sports betting has a big influence on this proposed mandate. Knowing who will play and who won’t would give gamblers a big advantage, and its no secret that all sports have grown to embrace gambling over the past several years (this paragraph was brought to you by FanDuel Sportsbook, just kidding).

The NFL requires its teams to release injury reports three full days prior to the game and no later than 4 p.m. College Football had no such thing, and as a result, Franklin and a bunch of other coaches have been secretive.

This led to a famous exchange with media in the fall of 2018, when Franklin was asked about then-QB Trace McSorley’s status.

“I guess what I don’t understand, and I get it, you have to ask questions,” Franklin said. “But you ask questions that you know I’m not going to… and you only get so many questions. But you’re asking me questions that you know I’m not going to answer. I don’t understand that, so somebody send me an email and explain that to me. But you only get so many questions and you ask me a question I’m not going to answer.”

”If I tell you, ‘yeah, Trace can’t do these things,’ Michigan’s watching.”

Franklin will still be able to be vague about injuries during the week, but it looks like the world will start knowing before kickoff.

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