Thursday, September 6, 2012

UNC releases first injury report of season - RB Gio Bernard not listed

CHAPEL HILL — Given it's playing a conference opponent on Saturday, North Carolina earlier today released its first injury report of the season. And, as you might expect, it was not all that revealing.

The Tar Heels listed five players who will be out for the game against Wake Forest on Saturday:

Connor Gonet, FB
T.J. Leifheit, OL
Darius Lipford, LB
Miller Snyder, PK
T.J. Thorpe, WR

No surprises there. UNC released no one as “probable,” “questionable” or “doubtful.”

Keep in mind that the ACC’s policy on providing injury reports is nothing more than a suggestion. The league has suggested guidelines about how member schools should release injury reports for conference games, but there is no hard rule about any of it.

In fact, at the top of the ACC’s injury report guidelines is this phrase, according to UNC football team spokesman Kevin Best: “This is not an ACC rule subject to enforcement.”

Which is why it’s not surprising to see that UNC’s injury report doesn’t include any probables, questionables or doubtfuls. If it did, perhaps running back Giovani Bernard, who suffered an apparent minor knee injury last week against Elon, might have been listed.

UNC coach Larry Fedora has gone on the record as saying that he won’t discuss injuries, unless a player suffers a season-ending one. Barring that, he won’t provide updates on injured players. Which, of course, his right.

But my question: Why have these injury reports at all? If it’s not an ACC rule, per se, then why even have the soft guideline about releasing them? A question for the conference office …

- Andrew Carter