It's the kind of news that can make any coach shudder and cry.
It'll cause booster club members to scream with frustration.
It's a fan's worst nightmare, and it might make them wake up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night.
Indeed, one of the worst things that can happen to a football team this time of year is to have one of its star players go down with a serious injury during training camp.
It happened to BYU last week when offensive tackle Matt Reynolds, an all-conference performer and the Cougars' only returning starter along the offensive line, broke his left hand during practice. He had surgery for the injury on Thursday and, if all goes well and the football gods smile on BYU, he might be back in time for the season-opener against powerful Oklahoma on Sept. 5.
When reports surfaced that starting guard Jason Speredon was lost for the season with a shoulder injury, and that BYU quarterback Max Hall might've injured his knee in practice on Thursday — as it turned out, he's OK — it made me wonder what else could go wrong for the Cougars.
Or, for that matter, any other collegiate, high school or professional football team as they try and prepare for the upcoming campaign.
So, in honor of that great American football fan, David Letterman, here's a top-10 list of the things head football coaches would most NOT want to hear during fall camp:
No. 10: "The team doctor says its the worst case of jock itch he's ever seen. It looks like 17 of our players, most of 'em starters, have got it. They think it's caused by an allergic reaction to the grass on our practice field."
No. 9: "Sorry, coach, but some fool washed our white game jerseys with a bunch of red socks and shorts — and I'm afraid our jerseys are now the nicest shade of pink."
No. 8: "Hey, you know that guy who pledged a million-dollar donation to our athletic department? Well, I guess he was working for Bernie Madoff."
No. 7: "Geez, that big hit that LeRoy, our best receiver, took in practice yesterday musta jarred his Jell-O. LeRoy says that now when he tries to catch a pass, he's seeing three footballs and doesn't know which one to grab."
No. 6: "The dean is on the phone. He was mumbling something about horrible grade-point averages and 47 of our guys being declared academically ineligible."
No. 5: "The health department is here, coach. They say we've got some kinda nasty parasite in our drinking water, and it's prob'ly gonna give everybody the green-apple quickstep for the next two to three weeks."
No. 4: "Coach, there's a cop in the locker room. He says our best running back ran outta Wal-Mart yesterday with a television set and a laptop — and he didn't pay for either one of them."
No. 3: "I guess the kid who was going to be our starting quarterback decided to drop out of school and move to San Francisco to marry his sweetheart — the guy who played center for him in high school."
No. 2: "Some guy from the NCAA is in your office. Said somethin' about how you need to attend a hearing on recruitin' violations."
And the No. 1 thing a head football coach does NOT want to hear during fall camp: "I hate like heck to be the one to break this to you, but your wife just called and left a message. She said that, since you're spending all of your time down here these days, don't even bother coming home anymore. She'll have her lawyer call you tomorrow."
Oh, yeah, it's gonna be a fun season, and we can't wait to get things started.
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