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Blues in no rush to punish Scotland

Guilty: Carlton's Heath Scotland.

Guilty: Carlton's Heath Scotland. Photo: Paul Rovere

CARLTON is in ''no real hurry'' to decide on a penalty for Heath Scotland, who has been found guilty of assault, despite concerns aired by the AFL and media commentators on the need to send a message about player involvement in off-field violence.

Carlton's general manager of football operations, Andrew McKay, told SEN yesterday he did not want to speculate on a possible punishment, but confirmed that Scotland, Carlton's 2012 club champion, would miss games in 2013.

''We need to sit down as a group [to make the decision],'' he said. ''Obviously, there's no real hurry. Everyone in the media seems to be stressing the issue a little bit, but there's no real hurry to the sanction now.

''It's certainly going to be games - what type of game is yet to be decided. Obviously, they aren't occurring for a number of months, but we want to get it tidied up in the next month or so.''

McKay said Carlton would keep the AFL informed of its deliberations.

''They just want to be kept in the loop,'' he said. ''It's our decision … They do have the power to come over the top, but I'd like to think we are sensible enough to hand down the appropriate penalty so they won't need to come over the top. We'll handle it ourselves.

''I think it's more of a process of us keeping in touch with them and letting them know what we think the appropriate sanction is and making sure they are well aware of it … and [that] the players' association are well aware of it, and then going from there.''

Referring to the assault, McKay said ''that type of behaviour is unacceptable at Carlton''.

Scotland, 32, last month signed a one-year contract extension that will keep him at Carlton for the 2013 season. Last week, he won his first Carlton best and fairest, edging past small forward Eddie Betts in the final round of the season.

Several players have missed games in 2012 for offences as minor as being out too late before training sessions. Collingwood's Sharrod Wellingham and Dane Swan were suspended for two games for being out late drinking, without any other misdemeanour recorded.

In 2010, when Essendon's Michael Hurley received a two-year good behaviour bond after pleading guilty to assault, he was suspended by the Bombers for the first three matches of the season.

45 comments so far

  • In other words, 'we don't really want to do anything, but if we wait people will be less inclined to criticize us for letting him off easy'. Ultimately, Carlton's response as a club is up to them, he's their player and it's their choice, particularly given the offence occurred outside of footy. They'll wear the consequences of their choice through their sponsors, fans and general club culture (whatever those consequences might be). What really irritates me is the judge that decided that Scotland be given special consideration because he's a professional footballer. From the reports in the paper, Scotland's brother started the fight (in that he threw the first punch) and then Scotland came back in the pub after everything had calmed down and king hit the guy. For that, you should be charged with assault, irrespective of whether you think the guy who got punched out 'deserved it', or whether you happen to be good a kicking a ball through some sticks.

    Date and time
    October 12, 2012, 10:47AM
    • I'm a Blues member and love Scottland but I agree with you here. I put myself in that position (both Heaths and the guy he K.O'd) and from both sides, it shouldn't have happened and the punishment from the judge is a bit weak. It doesn't look good for all the younger blokes in the club (or any other AFL club) if they see a senior player get into a brawl and get off virtually Scott free not to mention what it says to young kids.

      Normally I'm the first one to say what happens off the field is their business, not the clubs or the AFL's but there has to be a line.

      Date and time
      October 12, 2012, 12:34PM
  • Do people expect Carlton to act on principle here? That would be a surprise. They never have. Never will.

    It took them three years to get rid of Fev. Being a good player makes you an untouchable god at Carlton.

    Winning is far more important than ethics and morality.

    Date and time
    October 12, 2012, 10:56AM
    • In Carlton's defence it can be hard to suspend one of your best players. Just ask Hawthorn and Buddy. However, during the 2007 pre-season Steve Johnson had a few drinks in a mate's backyard and got arrested for being 'drunk and disorderly' - no charges we laid. The Geelong leadership group ousted him from the team for the rest of the pre-season and imposed a SIX GAME suspension at the start of the home and away season. He didn't even join the senior group for training during this time. Not saying Geelong are a shining light for club culture - but they've performed marginally better than Carlton since Stevie returned in round 7 that year...

      Culture Contrast
      Date and time
      October 12, 2012, 10:58AM
      • But rember he was caught speeding and hooning the year after he won the norm smith however as they won the flag and he was ag ood player then he got off scot free.

        Also anyone else that makes remark should state what club they play for so we can judge their team.

        I am a Carlton supporter and i would have sacked him. Not for the incedent but for lying to the club the next day when he said he diid not hit the guy he was just trying to get his brother out of there.

        Date and time
        October 12, 2012, 11:53AM
      • Buddy is a protected species by not only the arrogant Hawthorn FC, but also the AFL. One day the HFC will actually wake up to this and the subsequent negative impact it actually has on their club. The Cats also suspended Jesse Stringer from the seniors for half a season (and four VFL matches) for an alleged assault (yet to be heard), but mainly for breaching team protocol in being out late and gassed. You establish a culture of respect and discipline for all, and then build the success around it. Carlton certainly won't do this because they are always after quick and easy results and live in the 'now'. It's also funny how Hawks supporters will bang on about how they have the best coach and best list, yet can't seem to link the lack of success to the culture of protection that they provide around their angry little men.

        Date and time
        October 12, 2012, 11:56AM
      • Care to explain what Buddy has done that you think warrants suspension? And I mean what he's actually done, not what your friend's mate's taxi driver's uncle heard at the pub that one time.

        Date and time
        October 12, 2012, 12:19PM
      • Agreed, but I actually I do think Geelong is a "shining light for club culture". Stevie J. is one example but Jesse Stringer is another example for more recent times.

        If the stability of the club and its ability to hold onto strong talent (on and off the field) is any indications, you have to say that the Cats example should be followed by other clubs.

        The Idiot Hunter
        Date and time
        October 12, 2012, 12:25PM
    • Since when is it Carlton FC's need to dispense justice on what was a civil matter. Justice is the responsibility of the courts! Scotland has been "punished". Like it of not the matter is over in the eyes of the law. Footballers and celebrities always get a better deal in the courts. How many times do we read about drink driving celebrities maintaining their license? Doesn't hapen to Mr. 9 to 5. That's for sure!

      Port of Melbourne
      Date and time
      October 12, 2012, 11:11AM
      • Spot on Pooley57, it is not the job of anyone but the courts to deal with these matters. If Carlton want to impose a punishment because they feel it is in the interests of the club, then that is their business.

        The real source of outrage should be the 'I want to be a fireman' excuse.

        Date and time
        October 12, 2012, 11:48AM

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