College football coaches are notoriously stingy about revealing injury and availability status for players, going to great lengths to conceal whether a player will be playing, sometimes until moments before kickoff. But, The Big Ten could be undermining them a little bit, as they are requiring availability reports.
The major pro leagues in America require injury and availability reports of various levels of specificity. And, there are usually penalties for intentionally lying or omitting in the reports.
These availability reports are huge for gamblers, for obvious reasons. And, with sports gambling slowly becoming legal all over the country, the way that college coaches were guarding injury news was simply untenable. TV networks have a lot of influence over college sports now, and they know that sports gambling is key to their future success.
Big Ten schools will be required to submit availability reports at least two hours before kickoff to the conference office. Each program’s reports will be released on the conference’s website and on X (formerly Twitter). If a school doesn’t send in its injury report within two hours of the start of the game, it could be disciplined.
“The well-being of our students, coaches, and staff, as well as the integrity of our competitions are of paramount importance,” Big Ten commissioner Tony Petitti said in a statement. “Enhanced transparency through availability reporting and partnering with U.S. Integrity (USI) strengthens our efforts to protect those who participate in our games as well as the integrity of the games themselves. I’m grateful for the collaboration of our schools, coaches, and administrators.”
It can be strongly assumed that other conferences will quickly be following suit.