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Buccaneers kept MRSA secret for secrecy's sake

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers decided that secrecy was more important to them than the disclosure of a serious, contagious infection.


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are dealing with a pretty bad staph infection at One Buc Place. Or rather, a MRSA infection - penicillin-resistant staph. That's a bad thing, and the Bucs have two players who are out indefinitely with the disease.

But while that's bad enough on its own, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers did another bad thing. They told their players and staff about the infection on Monday, after they cleaned One Buc Place. But what they didn't do was tell everyone else who came through the building or came into contact with players. They felt that keeping secret about a MRSA infection was somehow important to them, despite the fact that someone else could have contracted it.

After all, they don't even know where and how Tynes and Nicks contracted the infection.

But when asked about Carl Nicks' injury, Greg Schiano only noted that there was an infected blister not located on his surgically repaired toe. And then he got angry when a reporter asked a redundant question about the location of the blister. Seems like a silly thing to get angry over when you're perpetuating some half-truths about the type and source of the infection.

The Bucs like being secretive, and they're usually pretty good at it, but secrecy for the sake of secrecy is just stupidity in disguise.

I don't have a clue whether the Bucs were legally obligated to tell anyone, but they do have a certain responsibility, here. This is a pretty big deal, and it's going to come out eventually. They told their entire building about it, but not the reporters who came to work at that very same building. Reporters who may have had contact with the infected players, too. And what about all the fans who came into contact with players at open training camp practices? The risk of infection isn't huge, but it's there.

What's more, I can't think of a valid reason why the Buccaneers would want to keep this quiet in the first place. What are they gaining by being secretive here?

The Bucs should have announced this as soon as they found out. But they didn't. Instead, it took Alex Marvez and Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports doing some investigative reporting to get the truth out.

Secrecy can be useful, but this is just taking it a step too far.

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