Clubs must cite character at AFL Tribunal: Cats coach

After Charlie Cameron had his rough conduct charge downgraded from a suspension to a
fine at the AFL Tribunal, it is incumbent on clubs now to cite good character to help their players earn lesser sanctions, says Geelong coach Chris Scott.

On Tuesday night, Brisbane Lions star Cameron challenged his one-match ban for a dump tackle on Melbourne defender Jake Lever.

The tribunal - led by chairman Jeff Gleeson - found exceptional and compelling circumstances to use its discretion to turn the ban into a fine, citing Cameron’s clean record throughout his 207-game career.

Character references for Cameron from Adelaide and Carlton champion Eddie Betts and an Indigenous elder also helped sway the tribunal.

The gun forward is now free to face Scott's Cats at the Gabba on Saturday night.

Charlie Cameron
The AFL Tribunal used its discretion to change Charlie Cameron's one-match ban into a fine.

Cameron has never been suspended, but had been fined five times before the tribunal case - including three for rough conduct charges.

In 2017 Richmond's Bachar Houli received just a two-week ban for knocking out Carlton's Jed Lamb at the tribunal based on the "good character" clause, but it was extended to four weeks after the AFL challenged the decision.

The Cameron case could potentially be used as a precedent, with clubs attempting to draw upon character references or disciplinary records in other hearings.

Asked if the Cats would go down that path with a Geelong player with a similarly clean record, Scott said: "Oh, well, you have to now. 

"Whether you agree with it or not, it’s incumbent on you to use that.

"It would be offensive to any of our players to suggest that they're of lesser character than the two players in recent history who have successfully used that clause. 

"Because there are plenty of others who have asked for it and been denied, which is highly offensive."

Asked for his views on the Cameron case, Scott said: "I think the broader conversation is one worth having. 

"I don't feel like I have anything to add to it right at the moment, except to say that we're really clear on what the AFL's trying to do around dangerous tackles and anything that has a potential to cause head trauma.

"I've got a view on it, but I just don't think I can be constructive around that conversation at the moment. Largely that's because - I'm generally not afraid to contribute my opinion, I think that's reasonable - but it is much more challenging when you're playing that team this week.

"When I saw it (the Cameron tackle) I expected him to be playing, so it's not like it's overly surprising. The surprising part is how they got to that point."

License this article

What is AAPNews?

For the first time, Australian Associated Press is delivering news straight to the consumer.

No ads. No spin. News straight-up.

Not only do you get to enjoy high-quality news delivered straight to your desktop or device, you do so in the knowledge you are supporting media diversity in Australia.

AAP Is Australia’s only independent newswire service, free from political and commercial influence, producing fact-based public interest journalism across a range of topics including politics, courts, sport, finance and entertainment.

What is AAPNews?
The Morning Wire

Wake up to AAPNews’ morning news bulletin delivered straight to your inbox or mobile device, bringing you up to speed with all that has happened overnight at home and abroad, as well as setting you up what the day has in store.

AAPNews Morning Wire
AAPNews Breaking News
Breaking News

Be the first to know when major breaking news happens.


Notifications will be sent to your device whenever a big story breaks, ensuring you are never in the dark when the talking points happen.

Focused Content

Enjoy the best of AAP’s specialised Topics in Focus. AAP has reporters dedicated to bringing you hard news and feature content across a range of specialised topics including Environment, Agriculture, Future Economies, Arts and Refugee Issues.

AAPNews Focussed Content
Subscription Plans

Choose the plan that best fits your needs. AAPNews offers two basic subscriptions, all billed monthly.

Once you sign up, you will have seven days to test out the service before being billed.

AAPNews Full Access Plan
Full Access
AU$10
  • Enjoy all that AAPNews has to offer
  • Access to breaking news notifications and bulletins
  • Includes access to all AAPNews’ specialised topics
Join Now
AAPNews Student Access Plan
Student Access
AU$5
  • Gain access via a verified student email account
  • Enjoy all the benefits of the ‘Full Access’ plan at a reduced rate
  • Subscription renews each month
Join Now
AAPNews Annual Access Plan
Annual Access
AU$99
  • All the benefits of the 'Full Access' subscription at a discounted rate
  • Subscription automatically renews after 12 months
Join Now

AAPNews also offers enterprise deals for businesses so you can provide an AAPNews account for your team, organisation or customers. Click here to contact AAP to sign-up your business today.

SEVEN DAYS FREE
Download the app
Download AAPNews on the App StoreDownload AAPNews on the Google Play Store