Adelaide has again put itself and the Kurt Tippett scandal back in the spotlight after controversially handing over its first two picks in the 2012 National Draft just one day before the draft.
A two-day meeting was held between the AFL Commission and the Adelaide Crows to discuss Adelaide’s written request from chairman Rob Chapman to hand back both picks 20 and 54. With the cases against Adelaide for breaching the salary cap and draft tampering put on hold so that things could smoothly throughout draft time, all eyes are now firmly back on Adelaide.
In addition to picks 20 and 54, the Crows had pick 62 at their disposal, set to be used to promote rookie Ian Callinan. They will now be forced to use picks 62, 81 and 95, as use of three picks during the National Draft is mandatory under AFL guidelines.
The move has been described as a sign of goodwill from the Crows’ camp, though giving up the two draft picks is essentially them shouting “we’re guilty.” If they had nothing to worry about and were confident that they had committed no wrongdoings, there would be no need to hand over the selections in the draft.
It has been rumoured that maybe the AFL whispered in Adelaide’s ear that handing up some picks now may help smooth things over. However, if this is not the case, the Crows may have just pulled the trigger on themselves by clearly admitting guilt.
This is an obvious ploy by the Crows to avoid further punishment and it is a ploy to dictate the punishment handed to them, rather than leaving it in the hands of the AFL to decide. Knowing all well that this year’s draft is supposedly much weaker than that of next year, going by all reports, the move of giving up their first two picks in is a poor effort of salvaging hope of receiving selections for next year’s draft. If you had your tongue firmly implanted in your cheek, you could even say it’s a form of draft tampering.
It even makes you wonder what other skeletons the Crows may have in their closet, a closet that is becoming dirtier by the day. They seem almost desperate to get this over and done with.
It is rather odd that the AFL would allow the Crows to simply hand back selections in the draft if there wasn’t some sort of deal being arranged, ironically, under the table. However, if the rumours of the AFL whispering sweet nothings in Adelaide’s ear are incorrect, you could almost expect that the trial to determine the Crows’ innocent or guilty status would be over before it begins.
During a time when the focus should be on the new crop of youngsters about to have their AFL dreams realised, it’s unfortunate that scandal and Adelaide are again the first things on everyone’s mind, especially considering the Adelaide and Kurt Tippett scandal had just been swept under the rug for now.
The Crows are certainly flirting with fire by going out on a limb and giving back their first two picks in the National Draft. It could pay off and Adelaide may receive no further punishment, or this may be the guilty plea the AFL needs.