Trojans kicker Andre Heidari suffered an injury during the team’s opening game against Hawaii that required knee surgery last week. He did not travel with the team to New Jersey for last week’s game against Syracuse, and he is expected to miss about three weeks.
We know all this because it was reported by Scott Wolf of the Daily News over the weekend. As a result, the team has banned Wolf from attending the next two weeks of practice and will not issue him a press credential for the game against California on Sept. 22. Daily News sports editor Gene Warnick does not agree with the decision.
“From our standpoint, Scott was doing his job,” Warnick said, adding that he and a couple of other sports editors are scheduled to speak with USC Athletic Director Pat Haden about the issue. “This wasn’t something that was part of practice. We were just trying to report the news.”
If Wolf relayed some sort of information about plays or game-planning, the ban would seem more reasonable. NFL coaches like Bill Belichick try to be as secretive as possible about injuries, but they don’t punish writers for reporting them. If the writer obtains the information, it is their job to inform the public. Kiffin and company should do a better job of covering up injuries if they don’t want them reported.
UPDATE: Wolf says his two-day practice ban was lifted after several sports directors for local newspapers met with USC athletic director Pat Haden.