Published January 13, 2014
National Rugby League "'bad boys' face having to agree to good-behaviour bonds" of up to A$250,000 ($224,800) if they "want to stay" in the league, according to Aaron Lawton of the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD. The game's bosses, including NRL Integrity Unit COO Jim Doyle, "are sick of scandals involving a few wayward players tarnishing the image of the sport." In the past, players "have been sacked by clubs for off-field incidents and contract breaches, only to then be signed by rival clubs." Doyle "acknowledges one mistake shouldn't end a player's NRL career."
But under a new proposal, he "wants to see repeat offenders put up a good-behaviour bond" -- potentially up to A$250,000 -- that "would be forfeited for a repeat offence." Doyle said, "The players themselves ... are the ones who choose their actions. If they go out and beat someone up or they get drunk and do something they shouldn't be doing, well, that is them who has chosen that action. That's not us. We aren't stopping them from having a career -- they themselves are." Doyle also said that "bad behaviour by players can have an adverse effect on club finances." He said, "If you look at the 16 NRL clubs, and I've talked to all the CEOs and the chairmen ... their biggest challenge is continuously being financially stable." He added, "And if the brand of your club is bad and negative because you've got a few idiots that play for your team and you're not willing to penalize them in any way, that has a reflection on your own brand and therefore certain corporates aren't going to want to get involved with your organization" (SMH, 1/11