BRAD LOCKE: Mullen’s injury talk deserves needling

By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal

Thanks to Dan Mullen, I have discovered a wonderful new approach to life. It’s a way to simplify potentially complicated situations and keep everything focused on what’s really important.
Mullen gave me this revelation Wednesday during an SEC coaches teleconference. I asked him about the sprained ankle suffered by receiver Chad Bumphis and what kind of recovery time frame they were looking at.
The third-year Mississippi State coach replied, “We don’t discuss injuries. Policy.”
“Sorry, hon, I don’t discuss finances. You’re just gonna have to trust me on this new boat purchase.”
“Sorry, boss, I don’t discuss AP style.”
“Sorry, your honor, I don’t discuss heinous crimes of which I may or may not have been a witness.”
My satire has a point: Guarding injury information like it’s a highly sensitive state secret is ridiculous. Makes no sense.
Perhaps Mullen thinks it gives him some sort of competitive advantage. Well, it doesn’t, especially not when it’s a sprained ankle in April. In season is a slightly different matter.
What’s especially curious about the Bumphis situation is that he tweeted Monday night that it was broken and that he was scheduled to have surgery on it Tuesday morning. Well, Tuesday morning came, Bumphis was evaluated, and X-rays were negative, according to a team spokesman.
No break. Just a sprain.
(That’s Internet all-caps mode, not shouting all-caps mode.)
While I would like to see Mullen divulge innocuous injury info, I ultimately don’t care. I’m sure a lot of fans don’t care, either. Still, injuries are a huge part of football, and to make them a taboo subject is to diminish their importance and is therefore an insult to everyone’s intelligence.
Mullen has often been vague about injuries, but he’s never had a policy – at least, not a publicly acknowledged one – against the discussion of them. I guess he figures if it works for Bill Belichick, it can work for him, too.
All part of his plan for world domination.
Listen, Mullen deserves some needling for this, and since I love needling people – mainly because those people are so uptight – I felt an obligation to do so.
This must be a recently instituted policy, because Mullen discussed several injuries during spring drills, like Kendrick Cook’s spinal nerve issue, Nick Griffin’s ACL tear and Devin Jones’ broken hand, and many others.
However, when someone asked about Cam Lawrence’s quad strain, Mullen scoffed at what he called “silly questions” regarding injuries. Yes, so silly to ask about an injury to a guy who will likely be a starting linebacker.
What’s silly is being so tight-lipped about injuries. As Seth Emerson, a Georgia beat writer, wrote on Twitter on Wednesday, “Yeah, good luck with that in football.”

Brad Locke ( covers Mississippi State for the Daily Journal and blogs daily at

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