Kirby Smart: Reporting injuries could be 'detriment to our team'

Georgia football coach Kirby Smart has tightened the program's policy on reporting injuries, restricting the media from doing so until Smart is asked and has addressed the injuries publicly.

Under Smart's new policy, which was released Tuesday, reporters are prohibited from "releasing information and/or photo/video of players who are working out separately with the sports medicine staff and players (other than quarterbacks) wearing black practice jerseys."

The policy also includes injuries that occur while reporters are at practice.

Smart said the policy will allow him to inform the injured player's parents before the media has reported on it. Perhaps more important, he said it will prevent Bulldogs opponents from accessing the team's injury information.

"It would be a big disadvantage in the season for us, for our opponents to know every kid that's injured, every kid that's out, every kid that's not practicing," Smart said. "When that information gets out to our opponent it can be a detriment to our team. I'm trying to protect the team with that information."

In an email to the Macon Telegraph, an SEC spokesman said that injury policies are "handled on a school-by-school/coach-by-coach basis," adding that there has been no formal discussion of instituting a leaguewide policy.

Smart said he would be amenable to an SEC injury report that would allow all teams to have access to the same information.

"I think if everybody did it that would be great," Smart said. "To say I'm in favor of it or against it, I'm not either way. I just think that obviously puts everyone in the same position. I'm going to know the same thing about whoever we're playing, just like they know about us. That's why they do it in the NFL. They do it that way because it makes a little more parity, a little more even across the league.

"I think it makes things fair. But I'm not sitting here saying I want it by any means."

Georgia already has received objections from five beat reporters, who have stated Smart's policy "goes too far beyond the scope of what is acceptable in our eyes," the Macon Telegraph reported.

According to the report, Georgia has since told beat reporters the new policy could be revised.