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Coach Who's Coy About Injuries Mad Other Coach Was Coy About Injuries

Scott Shafer takes a shot at Jimbo Fisher over not putting Everett Golson on the injury report before last week's game.

Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

When asked about whether or not Eric Dungey had suffered a concussion during a game a few weeks back, Syracuse Orange head coach Scott Shafer got snippy.

"I hate the fact that you guys always want to give the specifics out because really, it doesn’t help our cause."

Dungey's injuries were always referred to as Upper Body Injuries, just as all SU player injuries can either be camped as that or as a Lower Body Injury. Specifics are not given here.

Around the same time, AJ Long was medically-disqualified after suffering three concussions, none of which anyone outside of the program even knew about. Orange fans didn't even know Long had suffered one, let alone three.

Fast-forward to last week when the Orange took on the Florida State Seminoles, led by quarterback Everett Golson and running Dalvin Cook. On the Thursday before the game, both players were limited in practice and it was wondered aloud if one or both might sit out the game. By Friday, Cook was ruled out. On Saturday morning, it was announced that Golson wouldn't play either. Their replacements, Sean Maguire and Jacques Patricktorched SU in a 45-21 drubbing.

After the game, defensive coordinator Chuck Bullough grumbled that the team spent all week game-planning for Golson and probably would have performed better against him, despite the fact that this was the same quarterback who lit up SU for four touchdowns with Notre Dame last season.

Thursday, Scott Shafer took it one step further on his radio show, spilling a bowl of sour grapes all over the place.

"You try to be a gentleman with those situations, and some are," Shafer said Thursday night on his weekly radio show on TK99.5. "And (in) some incidences guys have reasons for not being a gentleman, I guess.

"At the end of the day you move forward, control those things that are out in front of you, and we'll put our report out there as long as the rest of the ACC feels like it's the right thing to do.

"We talk about about it every year (at the coaches' meetings). Maybe we should agree just not to do it next year, I don't know."

Fisher told reporters that he didn't know Golson wouldn't play until Friday, though I suppose you could make a case that's a bit of a fib since Maguire was getting first-team reps on Thursday. But even so, being exact on the injury report is not mandatory. Also...

Syracuse did not lose the game because Everett Golson was injured. Syracuse lost the game because Florida State was ten times more talented and shredded our defense with ease. You can't get torched by the "second-stringers" and then infer you would have done better had you played against the starters.

Shafer likes to say that he doesn't want to hear excuses but we've been hearing a lot of them in recent weeks. Complaining about injury reporting, when your program is notably-secretive about injuries itself, is doing yourself no favors. Especially as you sit here at 3-5 in the midst of a five-game losing streak.

If the Orange didn't recognize that they needed to gameplan for multiple quarterbacks, that's on the coaching staff. It's the coaches' responsibility to prepare the team for every scenario. If defenders found themselves trying to figure out how to solve Maguire on the fly, maybe the problem is in the preparation, not the perceived trickery.

Also, given the way Fisher acted when Julian Whigham got hurt in Tallahassee two years ago, I don't know if he's the one whose gentleman-ness needed to be called into question.