What could have been explained as an ill-advised but well-intentioned manoeuvre in the best interests of the player now smacks of cover-up, deceit and bungling.
Caroline Wilson has been chief football writer for The Age since 1999. She was the first woman to cover Australian Rules football on a full-time basis and the first woman to win the AFL's gold media award. She has won the AFL Players' Association's football writer of the year (1999) and the AFL Media Association's most outstanding football writer and most outstanding feature writer (2000, 2003, 2005). In 2014 she won the Melbourne Press Club's Graham Perkin award as Australian journalist of the year. She also won a MPC Quill Award in 2003.
Geelong are pushing for eight games at Simonds Stadium in a 13-week period, with the 2017 AFL fixture due to be released on Thursday.
Some heroes remain gallant even after the heroics seem done.
Luke Beveridge's blend of romance and ruthlessness has paid dividends for the Western Bulldogs.
The end-of-season bye is a lock for 2017 with the AFL Commission looking to financially reward the minor premier from next year as one of several new measures to enhance the longer lead into finals.
AFL players want financial forecasts from the soon-to-be-completed Etihad Stadium purchase before countering the league's offer of a 10 per cent pay rise for 2017.
Sometimes, according to Ted Richards, it is possible to experience profound joy and sadness in almost exactly the same moment.
Focus on Footy has called a halt to its challenge of the Richmond board as Bruce Monteath confirmed the group will not force the club to hold an extraordinary general meeting.
The AFL's latest indelible imprint on the Brisbane Football Club is close to complete. Having installed Greg Swann as chief executive two years ago after personally removing his predecessor, Gillon McLachlan and his team have now lured David Noble from Adelaide to oversee the Lions' football operation.
Rarely has the crossing of an AFL club football boss from one team to another caused as much speculation and controversy as Neil Balme's journey from Collingwood back to Richmond, the club he departed 37 years ago after 159 games and two premierships.