Aside from the quarterback battle, the big story this week out of Syracuse Orange football practice was the injury bug catching up with the team. Multiple players were either out of practice altogether or practicing without pads. Whatever, it happens.
But head coach Scott Shafer seems to want to keep a lid of anything and everything before the season opener against the Penn St. Nittany Lions. And so, he has channeled his inner Doug Marrone and closed practice to the media from here on out.
Previously, Syracuse released a schedule granting media members an opportunity to observe the first 45 minutes of Wednesday afternoon's practice, 30 minutes of Saturday morning's practice session and the first 20 minutes of practice next Tuesday and Wednesday.
I'm on record multiple times saying I have no problem with closing football practice. You're the coach. You're there every day. I'm not. And if you tell me that you think closing practice in August will help you win football games in November, fine. Have at it. You really don't even need to explain it to me.
And you certainly don't need to make up weird, fake reasons for it...
"He wanted to close it down because of the reporting on injuries," said Sue Edson, the Assistant Athletics Director/Communications for football. "We have a responsibility to make sure any injury that's out there does not influence betting lines."
2. No, you don 't.
I really don't think putting the concerns of gamblers ahead of the concerns of student-athletes who play for free is the right "sell" here. Call me crazy. And I can't even imagine why SU would feel the need to make up a reason like that? We literally closed practice LAST YEAR. We're kinda used to this by now.
Not to mention, there's only so long you can keep a lid of injuries in the ACC now.
Again, I don't mind the idea of Dictator Shafer. In fact, he probably could have used a little more literal #hardnosed than ironic #hardnosed at this point.
But let's leave gambling out of this, cool?