Nixon wants more time to an­swer mis­con­duct claims

Townsville Bulletin - - Bizfi Nd - townsville­bul­letin. com. au Townsville Bul­letin Satur­day, March 19, 2011

Ricky Nixon RICKY Nixon wants a dead­line ex­ten­sion to an­swer mis­con­duct claims while he con­tin­ues re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion for a sub­stance abuse prob­lem.

Nixon’s lawyer Rod Lam­plugh said the AFL play­ers as­so­ci­a­tion’s agent ac­cred­i­ta­tion board was mov­ing with un­nec­es­sary ur­gency to judge the high-pro­file man­ager.

The board on Thurs­day pro­vi­sion­ally sus­pended Nixon, af­ter find­ing a prima f acie case t hat he acted dis­hon­estly, un­pro­fes­sion­ally and with­out in­tegrity.

They gave him seven days to re­spond be­fore hand­ing down a fi­nal ver­dict.

That would make de­ci­sion day March 25, the date of the AFL sea­son- opener be­tween Rich­mond and Carl­ton.

But Lam­plugh said that was too rushed, given Nixon last week ad­mit­ted him­self to a re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion clinic and stepped down in­def­i­nitely from player man­age­ment.

‘‘ They know he’s in re­cov­ery, in re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion,’’ Lam­plugh said yes­ter­day.

‘‘ If there was some ur­gent need to make a de­ci­sion on his ac­cred­i­ta­tion, let’s say he was do­ing some­thing wrong right now, there might be some ur­gency.

‘‘ But as I un­der­stand it, they say he did some­thing wrong in the past.

‘‘ Why couldn’t they al­low him time to re­cover?’’

Lam­plugh said he wanted an ex­tra week and was writ­ing to the board to ask for an ex­ten­sion.

How­ever, board chair­man I an Pren­der­gast said he be­lieved the March 25 dead­line al­lowed suf­fi­cient time.

Pren­der­gast said the fact that Nixon was in re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion had not stopped him com­mu­ni­cat­ing through his lawyers dur­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

He said it was im­por­tant the case was re­solved quickly, as Nixon’s clients were in a state of limbo.

How­ever, Lam­plugh said those play­ers could still ne­go­ti­ate new con­tracts, through Nixon’s com­pany Fly­ing Start’s other ac­cred­ited agent, Win­ston Rous.

Pren­der­gast also de­fended the de­ci­sion not to hand down a ver­dict on Thurs­day, say­ing if they had it might have been over­turned in court.

‘‘ He needs to be given that op­por­tu­nity, other­wise we risk mak­ing a de­ci­sion that could ef­fec­tively be un­done if it was chal­lenged on pro­ce­dural grounds,’’ he told ra­dio 3AW.

Pren­der­gast re­fused to de­tail what Nixon was found to have done that led the board to the view he had not met the stan­dard of con­duct needed to keep his ac­cred­i­ta­tion. Nixon has ad­mit­ted to acting in­ap­pro­pri­ately with teenager Kim Duthie, but has de­nied her claims that they had a sex­ual re­la­tion­ship or that he used drugs in her pres­ence.

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