Injury report = jail: 'I know it sounds crazy'
More leftover notes from last night's football practice, starting with the nickel defensive back job, which had belonged to sophomore Jerome Murphy all season. On Monday, junior Tyller Roberts was out there with the first-team defense at nickel, while Murphy, who was suspended from the first half of Thursday's game for missing a team meeting, had to stay late to do up-downs up and down the field with cornerbacks coach Rich Rachel.
"We're not happy with Murph right now, and it has nothing to do with missing a team meeting," Leavitt said after practice.
-- Leavitt also said Monday that the reason offensive guard Matt Huners has been held out of practice is a "wrenched back" and not the knee he's been rehabilitating since surgery in April. Huners hasn't played seven weeks into the season, and as far as his availability for Saturday's game, Leavitt said "not today, he isn't." But Leavitt said the team isn't looking into a medical redshirt, which would allow Huners to petition for a sixth year of eligibility.
-- I get a lot of e-mails asking about Chris Robinson, who has yet to see significant action after injuring his ankle in the preseason. He's seen occasional special-teams work and a handful of snaps at defensive end, and Leavitt isn't sure when he'll be ready to go. "He's hasn't practiced full yet this year," Leavitt said, and said he won't return to a prominent role on defense "until he really gets back."
-- Leavitt's also is getting a little edgy about injury news coming out, even when it comes from USF. Told that USF's sports information department had sent out a release Monday stating that tackle Walt Walker would be out 2-4 weeks with a sprained MCL, he stopped and questioned USF's assistant athletic director for communications, Chris Freet, standing nearby.
"Why are you releasing anything on injuries?" Leavitt asked, repeating the question.
Told that the information came with approval from assistant athletic director Steve Walz, as credible a source as you could find on a USF injury, Leavitt said: "It shouldn't come from him. He could get thrown in jail. I know it sounds crazy, but he could. I think so."
Leavitt's worried about the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996, which guards the privacy of an individual's personal health information. But HIPAA is intended for health-care providers in relation to disclosing medical records of customers, not anything relating to college athletes and their ability to play football, and any violation relating to releasing a football injury would likely result in a civil vulnerability more than anything criminal. Yes, people have gone to jail for HIPAA; they've also typically stolen medical records for use in identity theft. I think the legal term for such an interpretation here is "nonsense."
Never mind that USF fan message boards had days of discussion of Walker being out for the season with a torn ACL, and that USF's release corrected bad information festering online. Maybe that can get Walz out with just probation and community service. ...