JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Carlton must act on Scotland

Burnt Blue: Heath Scotland received a suspended sentence for assault in NSW.

Burnt Blue: Heath Scotland received a suspended sentence for assault in NSW. Photo: Paul Rovere

OPINION

THE inevitable collision course being confronted by the AFL and the Carlton Football Club is as disappointing as it is predictable.

Disappointing because the AFL, despite the power it has to overrule clubs that fail to adequately sanction players, should not have to intervene in the case of Heath Scotland. Surely by now the Blues should know better.

Predictable because the indications yesterday were that Carlton - a club with a poor track record in suspending players with off-field behavioural issues - has learnt little from the past. It hasn't helped the club before and in the long term it won't now.

Under AFL rules, revised back in 2006, Scotland potentially faces a heavy fine and lengthy suspension after another drunken and violent off-field incident. The court that did not convict him did so because he was an AFL footballer who faced a three-match suspension, according to his defence. But the Blues yesterday suggested their club champion could miss NAB Cup games only.

Surely the AFL will challenge that. Incredibly the Blues believe that less than 30 hours serving the community - the penalty Scotland was handed for being out late and drunk and placing himself in danger - was enough of a punishment at the time and should be taken into account now.

It is not Carlton's fault that a magistrate in New South Wales gave Scotland special treatment by placing him on a two-year good-behaviour bond after he was found guilty of assault. But it is true the Blues supplied the player with a legal team not available to the three other men involved - all of whom were convicted.

The community has every right to feel aggrieved by the leniency received by Scotland. Offenders escape lightly in the legal system every day but how galling for the public and embarrassing for the AFL that Scotland was treated like a protected tenant because he is a footballer who would lose money and miss training in Arizona.

Carlton has indicated it is in no hurry to reach a conclusion regarding further punishment to Scotland, who in 2006 slapped a woman at Crown and was charged and fined. He used the same lame fireman ambition defence back then. Scotland is a very talented and popular footballer but he has a problem when he drinks and these two incidents are by no means isolated.

In truth the AFL has told the club to wait. League investigator Brett Clothier has already stepped in and demanded all police evidence and court documents related to the incident. There is every indication that the AFL believes that if a player defends himself by saying his club will sanction him, then sanction him it should. In matches that count.

Given that the AFL wanted Brock McLean suspended for his insulting AIDS tweet during the season it seems hard to believe Scotland will not get weeks.

To date Scotland's punishment - in club terms - has been 28 hours of community service under the watch of Les Twentyman. If Carlton truly thinks that is enough then it has learnt nothing from the Brendan Fevola saga and leadership will again become an issue at Visy Park.

In the wider context of the game, the personal conduct rule every player signs onto when he joins the AFL might as well be torn up.

92 comments

  • Caroline they are footballers.... good to see johnny west coast go 'stuff the afl i wanna be a doctor'... garuntee if malpratice insues it will be a 'footy' story, but I digress... every tom dick and harry walks out with the same sentence, as you state... they aren't making laws they aren't passing judgment in high office they hurt people and kick leather... if my brother cops a whack you bet your arse any brother will be in arms with him... to paint scot and fev with the same brush is just cheap... ironically fev is what the game is about if commercilism didn't take hold he would be laying bricks kicking bags and probably be on the cusp of hall of fame status had he debuted in the 80s...

    Commenter
    thejudgethejurythe...
    Location
    theage
    Date and time
    October 12, 2012, 12:29AM
    • Well said. Caroline spends too much time on the high moral ground so easy to climb. I too would defend my brother. Drunk or sober. I also understand his brother is disabled and was upset due to the attention he was receiving. Sometimes bullies like the blokes disturbing his brother need to be stood up to. I think Heath has copped his fair whack. A good behaviour bond, community service, another cross against his name with the MFB and a damaged reputation for stepping in to defend his brother.

      Commenter
      JohnnyC
      Date and time
      October 12, 2012, 7:07AM
    • The last I read, Scotland didn't have a machete in hand. Different rules for different fools hey Caroline?

      Commenter
      Gilly
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      October 12, 2012, 7:28AM
    • I find it amazing that you can defend a man found guilty of assaulting another person, regardless of the circumstances. You're saying that it's ok to result in violence? the very thing Wilson is saying is not ok.
      And she was saying that the club hadn't learnt how to deal with players with off field issues and sighted Fev as someone the could have done better with. He may still be playing AFL if it wasn't for poor management.

      Commenter
      Mark
      Location
      melb
      Date and time
      October 12, 2012, 8:34AM
    • where is your Jurrah article? Or is that too tricky for you

      Commenter
      Gaz
      Location
      Yarrawonga
      Date and time
      October 12, 2012, 8:49AM
    • Normally I would disagree with Caroline, but I have insight into Heath's background (first & second hand). His past is chequered when it comes to drinking and violence. There is a clear problem here. He is a repeat offender and court and Carlton talk about NAB Cup games!
      Will Minson was club sanctioned for making a rude comment, on the field about someone mother.
      Carlton or the AFL must impose something more on Heath. Obviously the court system hasn't helped him to learn, maybe feeling some pain in the back pocket, and not doing what he obviously loves to will teach him. He'll be better for it.

      Commenter
      Aussie Jim
      Date and time
      October 12, 2012, 9:06AM
    • Not well said at all, I've played footy for the last 20 years of my life... I see these types all the time.. he needs to sit out a few games and realize whatever happens he cannot belt members of the public... even if his "standing up for his brother" (don't sure where the standing up becomes belting the bloke)

      Commenter
      Johnson
      Date and time
      October 12, 2012, 9:38AM
    • These guys are footballers - Nothing more, nothing less.

      Just because they play football, we shouldn't pay any attention to what they do off the field, good OR bad.

      Whether they are kissing sick kids in hospitals on Good Friday, trying to sell me solar panels, or getting in fights, I don't care.

      Off-field saints or sinners, to pretend that they are some sort of social lens that we need to moralise about is a joke. This is Caroline's biggest blunder in the stuff she writes.

      Watch the game, cheer, then IGNORE THEM!!

      Commenter
      JTHooker
      Location
      Melbs
      Date and time
      October 12, 2012, 9:48AM
    • Aussie Jim October 12, 2012, 9:06AM. " Normally you disagree with Caroline". Actually think about this comment champ. Do you disagree with Caroline's articles and opinions? or with Caroline the person (read: female who must be disagreed with and put in her place). I know you have 'backed her' on this one due to your convenient first hand knowledge, but have an honest and considered think about your 'normal' approach to her mate. I guarantee she is far more knowledgable and intelligent than you and most of your like minded buddies posting shots at her on here.

      Commenter
      Terry
      Location
      Mooroopna
      Date and time
      October 12, 2012, 10:22AM
    • @Terry - his name is Aussie Jim not Straw Man. Way to launch into a guy for something they didn't say. Incidentally, if you read what Aussie Jim said, the statement was 'Normally I would disagree with Caroline' - i.e., on the particular opinion she has in this particular article. In other words, simmer down.

      Back to the article, Scotland's defence that he was helping his brother is laughable. If you go back to the original report of the incident, Scotland's brother punched a guy, and got tossed out of the pub. Scotland then came back in and king-hit the guy. Hardly sounds like his brother (who was outside) was in such immediate danger that he needed his brother to bravely swan in and hit someone from behind (top bloke that).

      Commenter
      Aaron
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      October 12, 2012, 11:17AM

More comments

Comments are now closed

Related Coverage

AFL 2015

Round 1
Thu, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
CAR 78 vs RIC 105 Report Stats
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
MEL 115 vs GCF 89 Stats
SYD 72 vs ESS 60 Stats
BRI 74 vs COL 86 Stats
WBU 97 vs WCE 87 Stats
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
STK 78 vs GWS 87 Stats
ADE 140 vs NTH 63 Stats
FRE 75 vs PTA 68 Stats
Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
HAW 123 vs GEE 61 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
WCE 131 vs CAR 62 Stats
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
RIC 66 vs WBU 85 Report Stats
GWS 101 vs MEL 56 Stats
COL 63 vs ADE 90 Report Stats
GCF 76 vs STK 104 Stats
PTA 44 vs SYD 92 Stats
Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
GEE 60 vs FRE 104 Stats
ESS 78 vs HAW 76 Stats
NTH 133 vs BRI 51 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
COL 140 vs STK 66 Stats
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
CAR 84 vs ESS 105 Stats
ADE 80 vs MEL 55 Stats
SYD 111 vs GWS 90 Report Stats
NTH 105 vs PTA 113 Stats
BRI 58 vs RIC 137 Stats
Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
HAW 127 vs WBU 57 Stats
GEE 105 vs GCF 96 Stats
WCE 81 vs FRE 111 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
RIC 51 vs MEL 83 Stats
Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
STK 81 vs CAR 121 Report Report Stats
ESS 49 vs COL 69 Report Stats
GWS 119 vs GCF 53 Stats
PTA 99 vs HAW 91 Stats
FRE 74 vs SYD 60 Stats
Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI 65 vs WCE 118 Stats
GEE 67 vs NTH 83 Stats
WBU 125 vs ADE 68 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR 45 vs COL 120 Stats
Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
RIC 76 vs GEE 85 Stats
SYD 73 vs WBU 77 Stats
GCF 118 vs BRI 54 Stats
NTH 70 vs HAW 130 Stats
WCE 120 vs GWS 33 Stats
Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
MEL 50 vs FRE 118 Stats
STK 80 vs ESS 82 Stats
ADE 91 vs PTA 115 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
COL vs GEE 19:50MCG
Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
NTH vs RIC 13:45BA
WBU vs STK 14:10ES
GWS vs HAW 16:35Spotless Stadium
GCF vs ADE 17:10MS
MEL vs SYD 19:20MCG
FRE vs ESS 20:10Domain Stadium
Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
CAR vs BRI 15:20ES
PTA vs WCE 16:40Adelaide Oval
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
ESS vs NTH 19:50ES
Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
ADE vs STK 13:45Adelaide Oval
HAW vs MEL 14:10MCG
CAR vs GWS 16:35ES
SYD vs GEE 19:20ANZ
WCE vs GCF 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
WBU vs FRE 13:10ES
RIC vs COL 15:20MCG
BRI vs PTA 16:40G
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
GEE vs CAR 19:50ES
Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
STK vs WCE 13:45ES
GWS vs ADE 14:10Spotless Stadium
GCF vs COL 16:35MS
HAW vs SYD 19:20MCG
FRE vs NTH 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
ESS vs BRI 13:10ES
MEL vs WBU 15:20MCG
PTA vs RIC 16:40Adelaide Oval
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
SYD vs CAR 19:50SCG
Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
HAW vs GCF 13:45AS
MEL vs PTA 14:10TIO Traeger Park
WBU vs GWS 16:35ES
RIC vs ESS 19:20MCG
ADE vs FRE 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI vs STK 13:10G
COL vs NTH 15:20MCG
WCE vs GEE 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 10
Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
FRE vs RIC 20:10Domain Stadium
Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
CAR vs ADE 13:40MCG
GCF vs SYD 16:35MS
ESS vs GEE 19:20ES
PTA vs WBU 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
GWS vs BRI 13:10Spotless Stadium
NTH vs WCE 15:20BA
STK vs HAW 16:40ES
Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
MEL vs COL 15:20MCG
View All Fixtures
Round 11
Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
PTA vs GEE 19:50Adelaide Oval
Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
GCF vs FRE 13:40MS
WCE vs ESS 16:35Domain Stadium
NTH vs SYD 19:20ES
Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
COL vs GWS 13:10MCG
STK vs MEL 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 12
Thu, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
ADE vs HAW 19:50Adelaide Oval
Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
RIC vs WCE 19:50MCG
Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
CAR vs PTA 13:40MCG
GWS vs NTH 16:35Spotless Stadium
WBU vs BRI 19:20ES
Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
GEE vs MEL 15:20SS
View All Fixtures
Round 13
Thu, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
FRE vs COL 20:10Domain Stadium
Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD vs RIC 19:50SCG
Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
HAW vs ESS 13:40MCG
BRI vs ADE 16:35G
STK vs WBU 19:20ES
Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
CAR vs GCF 15:20ES
View All Fixtures
Round 14
Thu, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs PTA 19:20SCG
Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
COL vs HAW 19:50MCG
Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
RIC vs GWS 13:40MCG
GCF vs NTH 16:35MS
WBU vs CAR 19:20ES
MEL vs WCE 19:40TIO
Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
ESS vs STK 13:10ES
ADE vs GEE 15:20Adelaide Oval
FRE vs BRI 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 15
Thu, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
PTA vs COL 19:50Adelaide Oval
Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
RIC vs CAR 19:50MCG
Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
ESS vs MEL 13:40MCG
WBU vs GCF 16:35CAZ
NTH vs GEE 19:20ES
WCE vs ADE 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS vs STK 13:10Spotless Stadium
HAW vs FRE 15:20AS
BRI vs SYD 16:40G
View All Fixtures
Round 16
Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
NTH vs ESS 19:50ES
Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
GEE vs WBU 13:45SS
GCF vs GWS 14:10MS
COL vs WCE 16:35ES
SYD vs HAW 19:20ANZ
FRE vs CAR 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
MEL vs BRI 13:10MCG
PTA vs ADE 15:20Adelaide Oval
STK vs RIC 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 17
Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
CAR vs HAW 19:50ES
Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
GWS vs GEE 13:45SO
ADE vs GCF 14:10Adelaide Oval
RIC vs FRE 16:35MCG
ESS vs PTA 19:20ES
BRI vs NTH 19:20G
Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
WBU vs COL 13:10ES
MEL vs STK 15:20MCG
WCE vs SYD 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 18
Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
HAW vs RIC 19:50MCG
Sat, 01 AugTimes shown AEST
GEE vs BRI 13:45SS
COL vs MEL 14:10MCG
SYD vs ADE 16:35SCG
CAR vs NTH 19:20ES
GCF vs WCE 19:20MS
Sun, 02 AugTimes shown AEST
PTA vs STK 13:10Adelaide Oval
ESS vs WBU 15:20ES
FRE vs GWS 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 19
Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
ADE vs RIC 19:50Adelaide Oval
Sat, 08 AugTimes shown AEST
COL vs CAR 13:45MCG
WBU vs PTA 14:10ES
BRI vs GCF 16:35G
GEE vs SYD 19:20SS
WCE vs HAW 19:40Domain Stadium
Sun, 09 AugTimes shown AEST
MEL vs NTH 13:10MCG
GWS vs ESS 15:20Spotless Stadium
STK vs FRE 16:40ES
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Fri, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
SYD vs COL 19:50SCG
Sat, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
ESS vs ADE 13:45ES
NTH vs STK 14:10BA
PTA vs GWS 16:35Adelaide Oval
GEE vs HAW 19:20MCG
BRI vs CAR 19:20G
Sun, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
RIC vs GCF 13:10MCG
WBU vs MEL 15:20ES
FRE vs WCE 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
HAW vs PTA 19:50ES
Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
COL vs RIC 13:45MCG
GWS vs SYD 14:10Spotless Stadium
GCF vs ESS 16:35MS
STK vs GEE 19:20ES
ADE vs BRI 19:40Adelaide Oval
Sun, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
NTH vs FRE 13:10ES
CAR vs MEL 15:20MCG
WCE vs WBU 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 22
Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
GEE vs COL 19:50MCG
Sat, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
GWS vs CAR 13:45Spotless Stadium
HAW vs BRI 14:10AS
NTH vs WBU 16:35ES
ESS vs RIC 19:20MCG
GCF vs PTA 19:20MS
Sun, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
ADE vs WCE 13:10Adelaide Oval
STK vs SYD 15:20ES
FRE vs MEL 16:40Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 23
Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
COL vs ESS 00:00MCG
RIC vs NTH 00:00ES
HAW vs CAR 00:00MCG
GEE vs ADE 00:00SS
SYD vs GCF 00:00SCG
MEL vs GWS 00:00ES
BRI vs WBU 00:00G
PTA vs FRE 00:30Adelaide Oval
WCE vs STK 02:00Domain Stadium
View All Fixtures
AFL 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D % Pts
Fremantle 5 5 0 0 151.10 20
Collingwood 5 4 1 0 147.53 16
Western Bulldogs 5 4 1 0 104.75 16
Hawthorn 5 3 2 0 149.86 12
West Coast Eagles 5 3 2 0 145.92 12
Sydney Swans 5 3 2 0 118.26 12
Adelaide Crows 5 3 2 0 111.40 12
GWS Giants 5 3 2 0 102.87 12
View all
 
Featured advertisers