Prominent Canberra Radiers player Todd Carney faces the sack and de-registration by the NRL with police investigating allegations he urinated on a member of the public. Its a second offence for the socially struggling Carney after being caught by Police in a pursuit some months ago; but will Canberra have the guts to axe their best player? Certainly as results continue to be on the up and up; will they sweep it under the carpet like last time?
Carney and teammate Bronx Goodwin were today stood down by the Raiders indefinitely as police investigate three allegations of assault against the two young stars.
Carney is alleged to have urinated on a patron at the All Bar Nun establishment late on Sunday evening while Goodwin is alleged to have assaulted two men outside the club at 11.40pm.
For serial offender Carney it is likely to end his promising rugby league career in Australia as he was already on his last chance with Canberra following two serious driving offences.
He lost his driver’s licence for five years in February 2007 and in June last year was handed 200 hours of community service and narrowly avoided jail time for another incident.
Already on his last chance with the club, Carney faces not only the sack but NRL de-registration if the allegations lead to charges.
The 22-year-old star, touted as a future NSW halfback, could become the fifth player de-registered by the NRL, and the fourth in three years, for serious off-field misconduct.
Julian O’Neill was the first player banished by rugby league for urinating on a croupier at a casino in 1995.
Newcastle prop Dane Tilse, now playing for the Raiders, was banned for one year in 2005 for a drunken episode in Bathurst when he forced his way into a female’s dorm room.
Cronulla’s Tevita Latu was ousted for punching a woman in 2006 while Newcastle’s Terence Seu Seu, now at the Sharks, was briefly de-registered earlier this year for a string of alcohol related indiscretions.
NRL chief executive David Gallop said the league was comfortable with the action taken by the Raiders already but expects serious ramifications if the allegations are proven.
“Clearly when players have been involved in previous incidents there will be different consequences,” said Gallop.
Carney’s actions have long concerned Canberra officials but his talent and star of the future status meant he tended to be treated more leniently.
A gifted footballer and a genuine person off the field, it is common knowledge his behaviour becomes a major problem when he starts drinking alcohol.
Despite his issues the Raiders have continued investing time and money into the young star and extended his deal a further four years earlier this season.
Canberra chief executive Don Furner would not comment on any possible terms in either player’s deals that would see them face further disciplinary action if any misbehaviour was proved, but insisted they wouldn’t prematurely react to the allegations.
“Some incidents have been looked at by the police and we will wait to see what the outcome is before we doing anything,” said Furner.
“We can’t say too much until we work out whether they are allegations or whether there’s much to them.
“We’re not going to hang anyone out to dry until that happens.”
The incident could not come at a worse time for the Raiders as they have won successive games and sit just one point outside the top eight with a favourable run to the finals.
Raiders coach Neil Henry said the playing group will move on without Carney, with Marc Herbert called in to halfback for Saturday’s home clash with Gold Coast.
“We’ll move on, we’ll get over it,” said Henry.
“Of course it’s a distraction but how resilient we are and how we bounce back are important.”
Neither player was available for comment today.
Meanwhile Bulldogs players Lee Te Maari and Ben Roberts could also face serious consequences from their club with investigations ongoing into claims of a fight in Cronulla on Sunday evening involving an off-duty police officer.
Police are not involved in the investigations but Bulldogs chief executive Todd Greenberg is expected to come down hard on the serial offenders if it is found they’ve behaved inappropriately.
“We have received preliminary reports and the investigation is ongoing,” said Greenberg.
“We need to ensure the process is completed properly. We expect to have it resolved before the weekend.”
Roberts and Te Maari were both named in the Bulldogs side today to play St George Illawarra on Monday.