Posted by Mike J on November 20, 1997 at 14:15:40:
In Reply to: Suspensions posted by andy on November 20, 1997 at 00:44:40:
Both those suggestions might cause more trouble than they solve.
If the ban lasts as long as the injury then lifting the ban comes under the control of the victim's club. It would open the door for an unscrupulous coach to pick and choose when the injured player comes back, depending on the fixture list. Why not leave your injured and surplus-to-requirements defenceman at home for a few more games if it keeps out a rivals star goalscorer. And what happens if the injured player aggrivates the injury during training before coming back - or by falling down the front steps of his favourite nightclub?
As for b, surely the point of a ban is to punish the offender and his team, not to benefit the team he offended against. If you only ban a player from games between the two sides in question you are enabling coaches to predict which games a player would be banned for in the event of an incident occurring - more opportunities for gamesmanship and trying your chances complaint-wise. It would also act as a focus for bad feeling between teams - think back to the reception Storm got at the Arena last weekend.
If Beaulieu injured Tomlinson through malice or recklessness he deserves his ban, and I suspect most Sheffield fans would agree with me. The thing that has caused bad feeling was the speed with which the ISL acted, which did not give Steelers or Beaulieu time to appeal before it was enforced. This was simply unjust, and was in marked contrast to the speed with which the ISL usually act, and so conspiracy theories have run riot. I'm all for the ISL being much tougher on stick offences, and foul play in general, but they have to act and be seen to be acting fairly and openly. If not, we'll all end up in court again, one day soon.
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