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Abilene Reporter-News (Texas)

 

FRISCO, Texas - Two days of thoughts after listening to Big 12 coaches and players talk about everything from football to a Heisman Trophy campaign that won't include anything regarding tricky stuff about the NCAA someday maybe allowing athletes an opportunity to profit from their name and their likeness.

But first, this word directed at peanut gallery folk continuing to believe that the Big 12 is a conference in trouble:

Wrong.

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby rode the fence when asked about the recent legalization of sports gambling that's allowing states to determine if they're in or out.

When asked about that during his annual State of the Big 12 session Monday morning, he responded:

"I didn't have that in my notes, largely because I didn't have anything intelligent to say about it.

"I think we're very much in a wait-and-see environment right now. There's a lot of talk about integrity fees. There is a lot of talk about how it gets managed.

"Are we really going to end up with 50 states that all have different laws on legalized gambling?"

And are schools really going to release injury reports, like the ACC is doing?

"FERPA and HIPAA considerations are substantial," Bowlsby said of laws designed to protect privacy. "Having said that, the ACC has been announcing injury status reports for a while. They don't get into the specific injuries, but I think they use a 'questionable' and 'definitely out.'"

David Montgomery is questionable against South Dakota State. Ray Lima is definitely out.

Kidding, of course, but you get my point. Bookies get that information anyway through a number of ways. Therefore, status updates like that must be public, now that betting on sports has been legalized.

"We haven't chosen to do it, because we want to get some answers relative to the student records, but my sense is that there's going to be a human cry for that to happen," Bowlsby said. "As long as we don't get too far into the specifics of what the injury is, and what kind of medication they may be taking and what the duration is and those kinds of things - some sort of simple system may work.

"We've talked about whether or not it gets managed by the conferences or whether it gets managed at a national level - and that's unresolved at this point."

What about it, coach?"If the guy is out long term, I'll say it," West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said. "If I don't know, I'm not going to say it, because you never know when kids will respond to injuries and when they're going to come back.

"These guys are not pros; they're amateurs. They're still trying to figure out how to play through specific injuries.

"If a guy is out long term, I will say it. If he's not, we won't talk about it."

**

Bill Snyder exaggeratesWhen asked about the millions, probably billions of dollars that schools pump into college football facility upgrades, Kansas State's Hall of Fame coach brought up an interesting view.

"I think sometimes we lose our sense of priority in regards to what really is important," Bill Snyder said. "That's not to say that football facilities aren't important, because they certainly are.

"Looking at it from a standpoint of if I'm a professor at a university, I'm going to ask the question, what's really important here, is it education or is it football?

"A professor has an office the size of a closet, and as coaches we've got offices as big as (an) indoor facility.

"As coaches, we make an awful lot of money, and if I'm a professor at a university I'm saying I've got a salary that's 1/20th or 1/30th or 1/40th or 1/50th of those coaches.

"So where is the value of education in this system? I'm sure everybody doesn't feel that way, but maybe it's just because I'm 100 years old that I feel that way."

A 100 years old?

Geez, I thought he was just 78.

**

Randy Peterson writes for the Des Moines Register, part of the USA TODAY Network. Reach Randy at rpeterson@dmreg.com or on Twitter at @RandyPete.

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