Ques­tions re­main over Hunt in­ves­ti­ga­tion

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Sport - - COMMENT - [email protected]­DE­PEN­DENT.IE

THE most aw­ful thing about the video which cost Ka­reem Hunt his job with the Kansas City Chiefs is the sense that if the guys with him hadn’t tried to re­strain the player he would have done some very se­ri­ous dam­age.

As it is, Hunt only man­aged to push the 19-year-old girl in­volved be­fore break­ing free from his friends to kick her in the head as she lay on the ground in the cor­ri­dor of a Cleve­land ho­tel. The 23-year-old run­ning back was seen as one of the NFL’s bright­est young tal­ents, yet the in­ci­dent may spell the end of his ca­reer.

The al­leged as­sault oc­curred in Fe­bru­ary and while the NFL was aware of it then, Hunt was al­lowed to con­tinue play­ing. The month be­fore the Cleve­land in­ci­dent Hunt was ac­cused of in­volve­ment in an as­sault on a man in a Kansas night­club which also led to an NFL in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

In June he was ac­cused of an as­sault on a man in Ohio who de­clined to press charges. The im­pres­sion is of a man out of con­trol ben­e­fit­ing from the ap­par­ent im­punity granted to him by celebrity. Cleve­land Po­lice have launched an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into their han­dling of the Fe­bru­ary in­ci­dent which saw no ac­tion taken against Hunt. That seems like a good idea.

FEW pro­vin­cial club medals have been as richly de­served as that won by Kevin Cas­sidy for Ghaoth Dob­hair this day last week. At 37 the for­mer All Star wing-back may not be as quick as he once was but he had a storm­ing game at full-for­ward as the Done­gal cham­pi­ons edged out Scot­stown by a point in ex­tra-time.

Cas­sidy’s equa­nim­ity about his ax­ing from the Done­gal squad by Jim McGuin­ness in 2011 has al­ways con­trasted with the pet­ti­ness dis­played by the man­ager at the time. On Sun­day Cas­sidy re­flected that McGuin­ness’s de­ci­sion might have con­trib­uted to what he de­scribed as his great­est mo­ment in foot­ball, “If I had stayed with Done­gal I don’t think the body would have been able to play there to­day and there is nowhere else I’d rather be.”

He who laughs last laughs longest.

LAST sea­son was a night­mare for Ul­ster rugby. Be­tween the Jack­son and Old­ing court case, the de­par­ture of Les Kiss and poor form on the pitch the prov­ince seemed in ut­ter dis­ar­ray. About the only bright spark was the play-off vic­tory over the Drag­ons which pre­served their place in the Cham­pi­ons Cup.

It looked a long road back but Fri­day night’s vic­tory over Scar­lets showed Ul­ster are at least some of the way there un­der new coach Dan McFar­land. This was their first vic­tory away to the Llanelli side in six years and makes them con­tenders for a place in the knock-out stages, some­thing few would have fore­seen at the start of the sea­son.

Ul­ster’s win over Le­ices­ter to start the cam­paign un­der­lined how the Kingspan Sta­dium has been a fortress in Euro­pean com­pe­ti­tion and the visit of Rac­ing 92 on Jan­uary 14 al­ready looks like a cru­cial en­counter.

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