Nixon low on options
YOU’D think that Ricky Nixon would have to be pretty smart to be one of the top dogs on the AFL totem pole.
Wrong. This week, the player agent was told by his governing association that he had seven days to think of a reason why he shouldn’t be punted straight out of the game.
According to the findings of an AFL P l a y e r s A s s o c i a t i o n a g e n t accreditation board probe, Nixon failed to act with honesty and integrity and was found guilty of conduct unbecoming and also of bringing himself and other player agents into disrepute.
Not a pretty report card. But he should at least have been given one A+ . . . for sheer stupidity.
Nixon was brought undone because he started sniffing around a St Kilda schoolgirl with an axe to grind and an inability to separate truth from fantasy. In short, Blind Freddy could see she is trouble with a capital T.
Her now largely discredited antics are well documented and not worth rehashing for the umpteenth time. Suffice it to say a little professional help would go a long way in her case.
But one can only ask whether Nixon was so driven by his recently admitted substance abuse that he was blissfully unaware of the ramifications of his actions . . . or was he driven by an overdose of testosterone fuelling a mid-life crisis?
Whatever. As a 47-year-old man, his conduct was rash and opportunistic and it is hardly surprising that his was a dalliance that didn’t have the fabled happy ending. NIXON, it seems, may not be the only player agent who has been a bit naughty.
The NRL has had its share of problems as well. First up there are the allegations against Sam Ayoub who has been implicated in the matchfixing scandal which erupted after last season’s game between the Cowboys and Bulldogs at Dairy Farmers Stadium.
Ayoub has yet to have his day in court and the allegations against him have still to be proven. But it’s not a good look.
Then there are high-profile player agents David Riolo, George Mimis, Isaac Moses and Allan Gainey who have been told to show cause why their accreditation shouldn’t be cancelled or suspended for the part they allegedly played in the salary cap breaches that brought the Melbourne Storm undone last season.
Perhaps there’s a lot to be said about the stance of veteran Bronco Corey Parker who hasn’t had an agent since 2003. Basically, Parker says, he doesn’t need a bloke taking between 5 and 7 per cent of his pay packet for setting up a deal he’s quite capable of doing himself.
A more extreme view was taken by News Limited chief executive John Hartigan who, at the height of the Storm eruption, labelled rugby league player agents ’’ misfits’’ and a ’’ blight on the game’’.
He added to those comments two weeks ago when he said: " My views on player agents have not changed, u n s u r p r i s i n g l y t h e y h a v e o n l y hardened after recent events.
" Grubby deals will continue until there’s greater transparency of their behaviour."
Harsh words. But they needed to be said and the fact that governing associations are not sweeping apparent indiscretions under the carpet is a step in the right direction.
It’s just a pity that, all too often, they only seem to act after the horse has bolted. IT’S always sad to see an Australian cricket captain hitting the wall.
But few have done it quite as publicly as Ricky Ponting whose petulant behaviour over a contested catch at the World Cup this week was not a good look.
There’s no doubt that Ponting in his prime was a terrific batsman, one of the finest, and he wasn’t a bad captain either. The time, however, has come for him to consider his future. He is clearly unravelling and, while there is unfortunately no real heir apparent in Australian cricket at the moment, he really should take the option of retiring while his dignity is intact.
Observers say he’s lost it because he is under too much stress.
Maybe, but aren’t Australian captains meant to keep a stiff upper lip at all times?
One could be a bit charitable and suggest this week’s outburst was not brought on purely by the long-term stress of the job. There is a possibility the simmering undercurrent boiled to the surface as he watched the pick of Australia’s pace attack being blasted to all parts of the ground by a 19-year-old Canadian park cricketer – that I could understand!