Tim Simona deserves the NRL’s care, but he won’t play footy again

Mary Konstantopoulos Columnist

By Mary Konstantopoulos, Mary Konstantopoulos is a Roar Expert

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    It’s rare that I see an NRL headline that makes my stomach do a backflip. It’s even rarer that I read the full story and still feel sick to my stomach.

    But last week, when the NRL released a statement saying ‘Tim Simona deregistered’, I did genuinely feel sick.

    The Integrity Unit found that Simona had:

    • Breached the rules of the NRL by betting on matches;
    • Bet on opposition players scoring and also against his team (the Wests Tigers) winning;
    • Sold rugby league jerseys through online auctions for charity and then not passed on the proceeds to the nominated charity;
    • Been dishonest in his dealings with the Integrity Unit.

    Simona’s story is an extremely sad one, with some very personal ramifications.

    Imagine what his teammates feel like? This side missed the finals by one point last year. How many of his Tigers teammates would be wondering whether the 32 tackles that Tim missed in the 21 games he played led to points being scored against them, and what impact that had on final results.

    So much of what a team is able to achieve on the field is based on trust. Sport is an arena where mateship is celebrated and a team is only as strong as its collective parts. For the Tigers to have learnt that one of their own teammates was working against them must be devastating. Many would be angry and hurting, particularly given the dedication and hard work put into preparing for matches every week.

    What about his coach, Jason Taylor, who was under intense pressure last year? Was Simona’s defensive performance ever called into question? If so, imagine your frustration as a coach knowing that, despite practicing defence in training and not understanding why it wasn’t clicking on the field, the reason it wasn’t working is because one of your players was acting in a way which was detrimental to his team.

    Wests Tigers coach Jason Taylor

    Then there are the fans. As a fan, I cannot imagine behaving in a way which could potentially cost my team points on the field (think about the behaviour of Western Sydney Wanderers fans in the past). To know that one of my players could have potentially cost my team a finals berth and was behaving in a manner which hurt the team I support so passionately is disgusting to me.

    Despite my disappointment and the disgust which I’m feeling in regard to what Tim has done, I truly believe rugby league is a family and that the NRL still has a responsibility to ensure that even though Tim is no longer playing football, he is provided with the care and support he needs at this time.

    So often young men are encouraged into a life of playing football from a very young age. They are taught when to eat, how to train and can be the sole breadwinner for their families. Players are human beings and make mistakes, and I am a believer in people being given second chances (particularly in rugby league, where so many players I respect have had the opportunity to redeem themselves, like Jake Friend, Danny Wicks and Manu Ma’u).

    This absolutely does not excuse Tim’s conduct, but we as a game have a responsibility to continue to educate our players about the difference between right and wrong, and to have programs in place so that support our players on and off the field. The NRL does this exceptionally well through the ‘CAREERWISE’, ‘CHARACTERWISE’ and the ‘HEALTHWISE’ programs.

    We must never forget the responsibility we have towards the men and women that play our game, and I was pleased to hear that the NRL is continuing to offer Tim welfare services and monitor his well-being. The Rugby League Players Association also has an important, continuing role in this process.

    Todd Greenberg commented last week, “Based on the evidence we have identified it is very hard to imagine that Tim Simona will be registered with the NRL at any time in the future.”

    Listening to the Triple M team commentate the game between the Melbourne Storm and the New Zealand Warriors on Friday night, Ryan Girdler said that Simona may one day have the opportunity to return to the NRL. He qualified this by saying it would take several years and some time away from the game, but the suggestion was certainly there that a return was possible.

    However, I cannot imagine any team taking a chance on Tim when the strength of the collective is where the power of a team comes from.

    According to the NRL, Tim made it clear in several text messages that he knew that he was doing the wrong thing and had an understanding of the consequences.

    He did it anyway.

    This is not a team player and a person that any team would have extreme difficulty in trusting.

    I hope what has happened to Tim is an example to other players of the serious consequences of behaviour which compromises the integrity of the game.

    I also hope, although there has been no suggestion yet that this will happen, that this will prompt Australian sports to once again consider the wide array of betting options available to punters on a daily basis. The more exotic the gambling options, the less surprised we should be that this sort of behaviour continues to come to light.

    Mary Konstantopoulos
    Mary Konstantopoulos

    Mary Konstantopoulos is a lawyer, sports advocate and proud owner and founder of the Ladies Who empire, including Ladies who League, Ladies who Legspin, Ladies who Lineout and Ladies who Leap. You can find her podcast on iTunes and find her on Twitter @mary__kaye and @ladieswholeague.

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    The Crowd Says (169)

    • March 14th 2017 @ 5:52am
      Rabbit said | March 14th 2017 @ 5:52am | ! Report

      It’s very sad his case and should be judge on it’s own merits and not just public opinion of a main street hanging but in saying that do you give him a second chance and forgive him giving him a second chance to take another swing at the game I personally would give him a 3 year ban and let him swing away so Many other players have received a second chance

    • March 14th 2017 @ 7:45am
      Silvertail47 said | March 14th 2017 @ 7:45am | ! Report

      Family ? Tell that to Fafita , no one that steals from sick children is entitled to any kindness, only in Australia would he receive such sympathy,

      • Columnist

        March 14th 2017 @ 7:48am
        Mary Konstantopoulos said | March 14th 2017 @ 7:48am | ! Report

        So then is your solution simply to cut him off completely?

        • March 14th 2017 @ 8:02am
          Silvertail47 said | March 14th 2017 @ 8:02am | ! Report

          Yes

          • Columnist

            March 14th 2017 @ 1:45pm
            Mary Konstantopoulos said | March 14th 2017 @ 1:45pm | ! Report

            I really don’t agree with this approach. Particularly in the context of the number of athletes who have suffered from depression/mental illness.

            • March 14th 2017 @ 2:48pm
              Silvertail47 said | March 14th 2017 @ 2:48pm | ! Report

              Sorry Mary this is not the case in this situation,

              • Columnist

                March 14th 2017 @ 2:49pm
                Mary Konstantopoulos said | March 14th 2017 @ 2:49pm | ! Report

                And I suppose you know…

              • March 14th 2017 @ 3:02pm
                Silvertail47 said | March 14th 2017 @ 3:02pm | ! Report

                Do you ? Wasn’t stated in any interview he has done if so please correct me

              • March 14th 2017 @ 9:55pm
                Greg said | March 14th 2017 @ 9:55pm | ! Report

                Phil Rothfield asked him straight up – “Do you suffer from depression?”, “No”, “Are you seeing a psychologist?”, “No”

            • March 14th 2017 @ 3:17pm
              Big Daddy said | March 14th 2017 @ 3:17pm | ! Report

              Mary,
              I can’t feel sorry for him on the cocaine business but in relation to the gambling I’ve been through that.
              The underlying thing is how can he be depressed on $325k per annum.
              It is a very sad situation and he’s not the first to have this happen.
              Young players have too much time on their hands.
              I think he needs to find gainful employment which hopefully will take his mind off the game.

              • Roar Rookie

                March 14th 2017 @ 4:19pm
                Shaune Murphy said | March 14th 2017 @ 4:19pm | ! Report

                “The underlying thing is how can he be depressed on $325k per annum”.You obviously have no clue about depression. Sure, not having money can lead to depression, but having money does not make you immune to mental illness.

              • March 14th 2017 @ 7:49pm
                Silvertail47 said | March 14th 2017 @ 7:49pm | ! Report

                I tip my hat to you Swanny, cheers mate

              • March 14th 2017 @ 5:13pm
                joe said | March 14th 2017 @ 5:13pm | ! Report

                By the time you take out taxes,agents fees etc the $325K isn’t more than $200K..its hardly big money.But regardless of the dollar amount its irrelevant whether its $100K or $10 million a year its all relative to your spending habits.
                The guy seems a clown to me.Betting on games is the ultimate no-no.That gets you banned for life its undermines the integrity of the game.If as a fan/viewer you think there’s some “funny business” taking place on games you’re done with it.It happens im sure.But if you get busted thats the end of your career in that particular sport.

              • Roar Rookie

                March 14th 2017 @ 5:30pm
                SSTID_1970 said | March 14th 2017 @ 5:30pm | ! Report

                I’m not sure what world you live in joe but $200K is BIG money to the rest of us.

              • March 14th 2017 @ 6:39pm
                Swanny said | March 14th 2017 @ 6:39pm | ! Report

                200 k. Not big Money
                R u for real ???

                Wow. I look after disabled people and get 30 k a year

              • March 15th 2017 @ 5:50am
                joe said | March 15th 2017 @ 5:50am | ! Report

                I’m not saying $200K isn’t a good income for a teacher or truck driver or whatever but in the context of an athlete/celebrities income,its nothing.It really isn’t.

              • Roar Guru

                March 14th 2017 @ 9:32pm
                BigJ said | March 14th 2017 @ 9:32pm | ! Report

                I am so sick of people blaming thier crap behaviour on depression, i know a heap of people that are diagnosed with depression and i dont see them gambling and carrying on like a pork chop, ban him for life and move on.

            • March 14th 2017 @ 4:35pm
              Craig said | March 14th 2017 @ 4:35pm | ! Report

              Its a copout Mary.

              He’s an adult and needs to be held accountable for his own actions. Sorry, but stealing from charities and betting against your own team is about as low as you can go. He doesn’t deserve a second chance.

              If you don’t have the moral fibre to know that doing this kind of thing is wrong in the first place, you don’t deserve a second change. Using mental illness, gambling addiction is an explanation, not an excuse.

              He did it.

              Betting against your own team is the lowest thing anyone can do in regards to undermining the fabric of a sport. Sure, its not as bad as being a wife-basher or other violent crimes in terms of individual criminal aspects, but in terms of undermining a sport and devaluing the sport, its the worst possible thing to happen.

              • Roar Rookie

                March 14th 2017 @ 5:34pm
                SSTID_1970 said | March 14th 2017 @ 5:34pm | ! Report

                Lawyers get paid to play “devil’s advocate” and defend the indefensible. From everything I have read or heard about this, Simona is not trying to make excuses for his behaviour and accepts full responsibility for his actions. It is only bleeding heart liberals who want to wrap the world in one big rainbow that are making excuses on his behalf.

          • March 14th 2017 @ 6:33pm
            Jacko said | March 14th 2017 @ 6:33pm | ! Report

            Ok Silvertail I suppose you believe that a gambling and drug addiction arnt mental health issues?

            • March 14th 2017 @ 7:52pm
              Silvertail47 said | March 14th 2017 @ 7:52pm | ! Report

              TRUTH Jacko no , some people just need a good dose of reality or a slap across the face , you throwing the mental Heath issue is uncalled for , especially since Tim himself declared he new all to well what he was doin, I’ve gambled ,,, and I’ve experimented, I’m doin ok mate , some people just don’t know there limitations they have no concept of responsibility

            • Roar Guru

              March 14th 2017 @ 10:07pm
              BigJ said | March 14th 2017 @ 10:07pm | ! Report

              Jacko no, no one forces you to start gambling or take drugs, so how can that be mental illness??, mental illness is a uncontrollable brain malfunction not a bad lifestyle choice, do you see any children with gambling or drug addicitions???

              • Roar Guru

                March 15th 2017 @ 8:29am
                The Barry said | March 15th 2017 @ 8:29am | ! Report

                BigJ – things like excessive gambling, drug abuse, alcohol abuse and other high risk, destructive behaviours are often symptoms of mental illness.

                In fact your definition of “uncontrollable brain malfunction” summarised these behaviours perfectly.

              • Roar Guru

                March 15th 2017 @ 9:24am
                Sleiman Azizi said | March 15th 2017 @ 9:24am | ! Report

                They start introducing those addictions by normalising them with gambling ads that children are able to watch.

                But you’re right. Nobody forces you to do it.

                But given that Australia has the highest or second highest gambling losses per person in the world…

                No, you’re right. Nobody forces you to do anything.

    • Roar Guru

      March 14th 2017 @ 7:56am
      The Barry said | March 14th 2017 @ 7:56am | ! Report

      Simona should be held to account for his actions and banned. How long is another question. There are probably other legal consequences for him too.

      But the more I learn about this the sadder I think it is.

      For a young man to be so unhappy and so desperate that he thinks these deplorable acts are his way out is pretty shocking.

      Hopefully he can ‘do his time’ whatever that looks like, get support and get his life back on track.

      Without the above it’s not hard to imagine this story taking a far worse turn.

      • Columnist

        March 14th 2017 @ 1:45pm
        Mary Konstantopoulos said | March 14th 2017 @ 1:45pm | ! Report

        I’m glad that I’m not the only one who feels desperately sad about this whole situation, the Barry…

        • Roar Guru

          March 14th 2017 @ 10:06pm
          Sleiman Azizi said | March 14th 2017 @ 10:06pm | ! Report

          The villagers are out in force with their pitchforks Mary.

          Rather than a modicum of understanding for the circumstances that led Simona to take the direction he took, the moral anti-preachers take the high ground and suggest to screw him and let him rot.

          And they then have the gumption to attack the ‘bleeding hearts’ for destroying society or some other tra la la fantasy.

          It’s so nutty, it’s hilarious.

          • March 14th 2017 @ 11:06pm
            Silvertail47 said | March 14th 2017 @ 11:06pm | ! Report

            Pitch forks , villagers ? How dare one express an opinion that goes against the almighty, only they are allowed , you described those who object to Tims behaviour “hilarious” i find your diatribe sad , sheltered and totally arrogant, but to be honest I’d have been deluded if I expected more

            • Roar Guru

              March 15th 2017 @ 2:58am
              The Barry said | March 15th 2017 @ 2:58am | ! Report

              It’s interesting you get upset at mild terms like ‘pitchforks’ and ‘villagers’ considering the vitriol you’ve sprayed at anyone who has shown a modicum of empathy for Simona.

            • Roar Guru

              March 15th 2017 @ 6:14am
              Sleiman Azizi said | March 15th 2017 @ 6:14am | ! Report

              You need to reread what I wrote.

              I attacked the hypocrisy and irony of those wailing against the ‘engineering of society’ who don’t seem to recognise their own attempts to do the same.

              But I think I will attack reading comprehension next.

      • Roar Rookie

        March 14th 2017 @ 4:26pm
        Shaune Murphy said | March 14th 2017 @ 4:26pm | ! Report

        Agreed. That same thought passed my mind, it could get worse for him. I think at the very least there should have been a psychiatric appraisal conducted. This is not the actions of someone without underlying issues. Possible mitigating circumstances should always examined be considered in the name of fairness and compassion. I do not agree with taking this young boys future away over stupidity and greed. This decision seems political and irresponsible.

        • Roar Rookie

          March 14th 2017 @ 4:32pm
          eels47 said | March 14th 2017 @ 4:32pm | ! Report

          I’m sorry but how is the decision to sack him political or irresponsible. He has breached his contract. He has cheated. He has committed fraud. I can understand people who want the NRL to support him, even if I don’t agree, but the only option here was to sack him.

          • Roar Rookie

            March 14th 2017 @ 5:40pm
            SSTID_1970 said | March 14th 2017 @ 5:40pm | ! Report

            Logic is not part of this discussion. Clearly it is all about the hugs Simona failed to receive as a child. It is the fault of others who entrusted him with the money for children’s charities and who put him in temptations way. Poor Tim is just a victim in all of this. It is the fault of everyone else that allowed a grown man to make his own choices in life. Clearly the NRL has a case to answer!

            • March 14th 2017 @ 7:35pm
              northerner said | March 14th 2017 @ 7:35pm | ! Report

              I think there’s a big difference between absolving the guy of any guilt, and saying, yep, you screwed up big time, but we’ll give you an hand in trying to get your head straight. Myself, I don’t believe he should ever be anywhere near pro sports again, but that doesn’t mean the NRL or the team shouldn’t provide some help to him to get him on some sort of road to a post-football life. If he takes that road, fine; if he doesn’t, his choice.

              • Roar Rookie

                March 14th 2017 @ 9:19pm
                Harden Up said | March 14th 2017 @ 9:19pm | ! Report

                Maybe the club can take up a collection for him and donate the money to a kids charity?

            • Roar Guru

              March 14th 2017 @ 10:08pm
              Sleiman Azizi said | March 14th 2017 @ 10:08pm | ! Report

              Clearly logic is not part of this discussion.

              • March 14th 2017 @ 11:07pm
                Silvertail47 said | March 14th 2017 @ 11:07pm | ! Report

                As it isn’t part of Tims actions

              • Roar Guru

                March 15th 2017 @ 6:20am
                Sleiman Azizi said | March 15th 2017 @ 6:20am | ! Report

                Oh, his actions were quite logical.

                Even more so if he actually does have a mental health issue.

                But either way, it was very, very poor logic.

    • March 14th 2017 @ 8:12am
      Steve said | March 14th 2017 @ 8:12am | ! Report

      I honestly couldn’t care less about the players well being. The NRL shouldn’t have to worry about this rubbish, it’s not the place of the competition or the spirt to nurture a player.

      Comment from The Roar’s iPhone app.

      • March 14th 2017 @ 8:27am
        Silvertail47 said | March 14th 2017 @ 8:27am | ! Report

        100% Steve, he is a man who’s been guided by many in the “Rugby League family” that’s got him to where he is , that same family volunteers it’s time to nurture young men and woman , that same family puts up its hand to help the less fortunate, needy and sick ! Tim thinks that owning up will soften his punishment, get rid him he is entitled to nothing

        • Roar Guru

          March 14th 2017 @ 10:14pm
          Sleiman Azizi said | March 14th 2017 @ 10:14pm | ! Report

          He has lost everything because of his own actions.

          Offering a direction is not entitlement, it’s merely a sign of decent morality and ethics.

          Once the authorities above you are given social licence to use and abuse (in whatever form and to whatever extent), then eventually the rest of society will follow.

          • March 14th 2017 @ 11:09pm
            Silvertail47 said | March 14th 2017 @ 11:09pm | ! Report

            Good those who steal from the sick ,needy and dying deserve nothing

            • Roar Guru

              March 15th 2017 @ 6:22am
              Sleiman Azizi said | March 15th 2017 @ 6:22am | ! Report

              Sure.

              The bigger picture is how you want those in authority above you to treat everyone below them.

      • Roar Guru

        March 14th 2017 @ 8:32am
        Magnus M. Østergaard said | March 14th 2017 @ 8:32am | ! Report

        Steve is that any players welfare or just Simonas?

      • March 14th 2017 @ 8:36am
        Silvertail47 said | March 14th 2017 @ 8:36am | ! Report

        The article refers to Tim

        • Roar Guru

          March 14th 2017 @ 8:39am
          Magnus M. Østergaard said | March 14th 2017 @ 8:39am | ! Report

          Yet his comment says:

          The NRL shouldn’t have to worry about this rubbish, it’s not the place of the competition or the spirt to nurture a player.

          Which implies all players.

      • March 14th 2017 @ 1:58pm
        Nostradamus said | March 14th 2017 @ 1:58pm | ! Report

        That is exactly all they should be concerned with. Ofcourse Chad Robinson and Ryan Tany are sad cases that no one wishes upon anybody but there are people far closer to them than their ex employer. Lets not forget Professional athletes are making big money from people like myself on a 5th of what they are and not to mention parents struggling to pay junior rego fees and subscribe to pay tv that they can barley afford. As a Lawyer does the law not say ignorance is no excuse ? For me that applys to life in general aswell.

        • March 14th 2017 @ 5:03pm
          Silvertail47 said | March 14th 2017 @ 5:03pm | ! Report

          , mmmm I struggle with some of the disgusting acts humans commit on one another and then those who are paid to represent them ,

      • March 14th 2017 @ 2:51pm
        Silvertail47 said | March 14th 2017 @ 2:51pm | ! Report

        Mary , reference the the above is uncalled for as the person you are referring to did nothing that reflects what Tim has done , I’m quite shocked that you have done so , especially from someone with your cred , your better than that

        • Roar Guru

          March 14th 2017 @ 3:15pm
          Magnus M. Østergaard said | March 14th 2017 @ 3:15pm | ! Report

          Shes responding to Steve who states they dont care about players welfare etc etc.

          • March 14th 2017 @ 4:06pm
            Silvertail47 said | March 14th 2017 @ 4:06pm | ! Report

            refrencing a deceased player to push an argument is a new low

    • March 14th 2017 @ 8:26am
      Ed said | March 14th 2017 @ 8:26am | ! Report

      I’m sorry I disagree re the NRL having a duty to provide ongoing care for Simona as well as having to teach players the difference in right from wrong. Surely the latter is a parents duty not the employers! Re continuing to care for Simona – name me any other employer in the world who has a duty to care for one of its ex employees who’s illegal & immoral actions have lead to termination!
      Don’t get me wrong, I feel for the guy but what ever happened to taking responsibility for your own actions?

      • Roar Rookie

        March 14th 2017 @ 2:47pm
        SSTID_1970 said | March 14th 2017 @ 2:47pm | ! Report

        Next we’ll be hearing that the NRL has a duty of care to cover his bets!

        • March 14th 2017 @ 6:39pm
          Jacko said | March 14th 2017 @ 6:39pm | ! Report

          He started his addiction on a club sanctioned event so would probably have a good case for compensation if he went in that direction. The club certainly did not provide a safe environment

          • March 14th 2017 @ 7:36pm
            northerner said | March 14th 2017 @ 7:36pm | ! Report

            I’ve been at company- sanctioned parties and functions that involved booze. I wouldn’t blame the company for any alcohol issues I might have developed. That would have been my choice.

          • Roar Rookie

            March 14th 2017 @ 7:50pm
            eels47 said | March 14th 2017 @ 7:50pm | ! Report

            Do you honestly believe the comment you have written. He made the choice to take the drugs, he made the choice to gamble. Whether it was at a club sanctioned event is irrelevant.

      • Roar Guru

        March 15th 2017 @ 8:00am
        The Barry said | March 15th 2017 @ 8:00am | ! Report

        I agree with the personal accountability for what he’s done wrong but that doesn’t mean he can’t be supported.

        I don’t agree with the “what other employer…” argument because the NRL isn’t like other employers.

        ‘Normal’ process for young people is that they finish school, probably do some sort of tertiary education and then enter the workforce with relatively low paying jobs and work their way up.

        After leaving school I had periods where I’d be eating Vegemite sandwiches for a week because that’s all I could afford.

        Footy players are paid large amounts of money from a young age. With that of course comes privilege but also increased risk. Theyre thrown into a situation that society hasn’t taught them to deal with and few people can relate to.

        Does that absolve Simona’s personal accountability? Of course not. He should pay the price that goes along with his crimes. At an NRL level and a legal level.

        But the issue of welfare and rehabilitation is seperate from justice.

        There are crimes which I think are irredeemable but they’re a long way north of $20 bets on the opposition and small scale fraud.

        On a completely pragmatic level Vincent is correct. The NRL is still invested in Simona’s future. Whatever bad happens in the future he will always be known as former NRL player. Whatever happens people will be asking what more could have been done to help a young man who made monumentally terrible decisions.

        Outside of footy this doesn’t apply. Someone isn’t known as former BHP employee. It’s in the NRL’s best interest to do what they can to ensure this story doesn’t go from horrible to worse.

        • March 15th 2017 @ 8:31am
          MAX said | March 15th 2017 @ 8:31am | ! Report

          TB,

          An exceptional contribution from a highly intelligent man.

          PS. I alternated plum jam with vegemite. Variety!

          • Roar Guru

            March 15th 2017 @ 8:40am
            The Barry said | March 15th 2017 @ 8:40am | ! Report

            Cheers MAX.

            Plum jam, hey? La-de-da…I used to dream of plum jam.

            Sorry, I think I might have been channeling the Pythons for a second there…😂😂😂

        • Roar Guru

          March 15th 2017 @ 8:35am
          The Barry said | March 15th 2017 @ 8:35am | ! Report

          Also, forget the NRL for a second but if an employer in the same situation said “This man has committed serious misconduct. We have no recourse but to terminate his employment, however we will ensure he gets assistance to turn his life around” we would be congratulating them.

          No one would be saying “why does he get help when no one else does?”

          The fact that the NRL is willing and able to assist someone who has done such a wrong by them is not a bad thing. They should be congratulated.

          Besides, a lot of employers (most?) do offer assistance via counselling and employee assistance programs, even through things like gross misconduct and termination.

          • Roar Rookie

            March 15th 2017 @ 9:32am
            eels47 said | March 15th 2017 @ 9:32am | ! Report

            I’ll start by saying that was a very well though out opinion, as per usual. And again, I understand completely where you are coming from.

            My point of concern with your comment is in relation to the lack of life experience etc as they enter the NRL at a young age. The NRL and clubs provide the young players with access to much more education and support than the reset of us get in the “real world”. I am not saying that this replaces life experience, but the fact is they get a lot more support than most punters. I too had some lean times whilst I was studying and living away from home, but that was a decision that I made, and playing in the NRL is a decision that the players have made.

            I congratulate the NRL for all of the support that it offers both current and former players, however in this case I just don’t agree with the NRL providing the support that he needs. The guy cheated his team mates, he cheated his fans and he cheated the charities that he was supposed to be raising funds for. On top of this he knew exactly what he was doing, it was planned and calculated with his ex. He may have demons that he needs to conquer (and I hope that he does), but that is his responsibility.

    • Roar Guru

      March 14th 2017 @ 8:31am
      Magnus M. Østergaard said | March 14th 2017 @ 8:31am | ! Report

      Its a tough situation. I don’t want to see him back in the game, but I do think the NRL will help him through. He’s obviously messed up and needs help and by the looks of things I have seen on social media his ‘mates’ aren’t much help.

      I’m happy for the NRL to help him get his life back on track – not a sole financial support but a mental and medical support.

      He is a one time offender, and it was surprising it was him, one of the most honest looking and genuine blokes in the NRL.

      Its not like he has been caught and shown no remorse and gone back on it, this is his first offence, but in saying that it would be hard to see him back in the game again.

      For someone who had so much, he has thrown it away for so little.

      • Roar Rookie

        March 14th 2017 @ 8:58am
        eels47 said | March 14th 2017 @ 8:58am | ! Report

        Sorry VH, but I have to disagree, he is not a one time offender, he has been caught once for multiple offences. He repeatedly bet on NRL games and cheated fans and charities by selling jerseys and keeping the cash. Just because he has only been caught now it does not make him a one time offender. And we all saw the text messages, he knew exactly what he was doing, I have no sympathy for the bloke.

        • Roar Guru

          March 14th 2017 @ 10:14am
          Magnus M. Østergaard said | March 14th 2017 @ 10:14am | ! Report

          I have no sympathy for him but it would look worse for the NRL if they just threw him out on the street and offered no support at all. I don’t want to see Simona pull on another jerseyfor a rugby league team.

          We give Zane Tetevano allowances and he is back playing after being convicted of bashing his partner – multiple times (in front of her kids mind you).

          Blake Ferguson has been convicted of sexual assult, yet he is playing for the Australian national team.

          Andrew Johns frequents Channel 9s broadcast and is an Immortal even after admitting to taking recreational drugs throughout his career and has been caught in the posession of ecstasy.

          Russell Packer is back playing after being convicted of assault which included a one year jail term and stomping on the head an already prone person on the ground in actions called by the judge ‘cowardly and deplorable’.

          These are just a few players the NRL has afforded back into the game, making more money than they could anywhere else and to be the face of rugby league in Australia, but I guess it would be okay because they had no idea what they were doing?

          None of us are angels I know, but to completely cut ties with Simona and not monitor and ensure is mental/physical condition is stable would be completely hypocritical of the NRL.

          • Roar Rookie

            March 14th 2017 @ 11:10am
            eels47 said | March 14th 2017 @ 11:10am | ! Report

            Everything that you have said has merit, and I am not arguing with you on that, but this case is different for mine. The guys that you have mentioned have committed criminal offences outside of the game. I am not defending them in any way, and I agree that the NRL should have taken a much harder stance in many cases. What Simona has done is in direct breach of his contract, not the grey area of bringing the game into disrepute, but he has cheated, has gambled on NRL games that he is involved in. He should be, and has been sacked for this.

            If I breach my employment contract in such a manner I will be sacked, and my employer will cut ties with me. I will not be offered counseling or support from them, that would be up to me to look after myself.

            I get what you are saying about his mental state and his need for help, I just don’t think the NRL should be responsible for this. Maybe it is a Men of League thing, I don’t know, but that idea stinks as well considering what he has done in regard to charities.

            To be honest I don’t think that any stance the NRL takes on this will provide positive publicity for them, and at the end of the day, that is really what they are interested in.

            • Roar Guru

              March 14th 2017 @ 1:41pm
              Magnus M. Østergaard said | March 14th 2017 @ 1:41pm | ! Report

              We are in a bit of a middle ground here, but my point is that the NRL needs to be seen as taking this seriously. Imagine the outrage if Simona commits suicide (far be the thought, but its possible) and the NRL has turned their back on him completely.

              I know what I would prefer the NRL to do.

              This isn’t the NRL being forced into doing it, this is them being active and not wanting another player death on their watch.

              The only other player that has commited this calibre of offence is Ryan Tandy, and look how that ended up.

          • March 14th 2017 @ 1:00pm
            Zedman said | March 14th 2017 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

            Well said V H.

          • Roar Rookie

            March 14th 2017 @ 1:14pm
            Davico said | March 14th 2017 @ 1:14pm | ! Report

            I think physical and sexual assault are far worse crimes than anything Simona has done.

            • March 14th 2017 @ 2:54pm
              Silvertail47 said | March 14th 2017 @ 2:54pm | ! Report

              Stealing from charity’s ? Really am I missing something? Tell that to Ricky Stuart who works tirelessly with Autistic kids , and before you start on me I’m a dad of an Autistic child , I’m saddened by this attitude

              • March 14th 2017 @ 6:45pm
                Jacko said | March 14th 2017 @ 6:45pm | ! Report

                I would much rather have someone steal from a charity than abuse chrildren, or assult women, or many many other violent crimes. Even car jacking and road rage kills people these days.

              • Roar Rookie

                March 14th 2017 @ 7:57pm
                eels47 said | March 14th 2017 @ 7:57pm | ! Report

                WOW! You really are coming up with some pearlers on this story aren’t you.

                How about just saying that stealing from a children’s charity is an abhorrent act.
                There is no need to compare it to child abuse or assault, as I mentioned in a previous post it is like comparing apples and oranges.

              • March 14th 2017 @ 7:57pm
                Silvertail47 said | March 14th 2017 @ 7:57pm | ! Report

                Stealing from a charity that supports sick kids is no different to abusing kids , your not making any sense , actually your posts are provocative and your trying to incite ain’t gonna work

              • Roar Guru

                March 14th 2017 @ 10:46pm
                Sleiman Azizi said | March 14th 2017 @ 10:46pm | ! Report

                You are missing something.

                Stealing from a charity is a low act. No question. But the money stolen can be replaced.

                You can’t un-abuse or un-assault someone once it has occurred.

                Best of luck with your child (seriously).

              • March 14th 2017 @ 11:11pm
                Silvertail47 said | March 14th 2017 @ 11:11pm | ! Report

                Your comments disgust me , go to hell

              • March 14th 2017 @ 11:12pm
                Danielle said | March 14th 2017 @ 11:12pm | ! Report

                Couldn’t agree more, Sleiman. In any case, he defrauded members of the public, didn’t he? He’ll be charged with fraud. All very tabloid to repeatedly label it “stealing from sick kids.”

              • Roar Rookie

                March 15th 2017 @ 8:16am
                eels47 said | March 15th 2017 @ 8:16am | ! Report

                By selling jerseys to raise money for children’s charities and then not providing that money to said charities, he has in fact stolen from them. No, he didn’t take money out of their pockets, but that is not the only way that you can steal. Yes, he has defrauded members of the public, but he has also stolen from “sick kids”, albeit indirectly.

            • Roar Guru

              March 14th 2017 @ 3:17pm
              Magnus M. Østergaard said | March 14th 2017 @ 3:17pm | ! Report

              IDK, I find it hard to compare crimes of severe natures like these. It depends on whether youre looking at it from the victims point. Stealing from charities is heartless and deceptive, and bashing up your missus is deviod of humanity and cruel, but you can easily swap those 2 descriptions around.

          • March 14th 2017 @ 3:56pm
            theHunter said | March 14th 2017 @ 3:56pm | ! Report

            He is paid by an employer to work his a** off, its his own fault he got sacked. Now his on the streets for his own stupidity and I don’t see why the NRL has to help him.

            Those names you have mentioned above, served their time. NRL didn’t bail them out or visited them during jail time. They got in, improved themselves and eventually worked back to be back in NRL.

            Its Tim’s turn now, let him serve up what has been ruled against him and try to improve himself to get back to an employer.

            • Roar Guru

              March 14th 2017 @ 5:15pm
              Magnus M. Østergaard said | March 14th 2017 @ 5:15pm | ! Report

              Tim will never play in the NRL again, something I am happy to stand by. Simona will never be allowed to make professional money from playing rugby league ever again, unless someone drops the ball completely.

              The NRL isnt you standard organisation. It is a public company with millions invested in it for it to suceed and as many for it to fail.

              All I am saying is that it wouldn’t be a good look for the NRL to have another player take their own life.

              Simona is known only as an NRL player. All the headlines would read disgraced NRL star, former NRL star, NRL fraudster.

          • Roar Rookie

            March 14th 2017 @ 9:26pm
            Harden Up said | March 14th 2017 @ 9:26pm | ! Report

            He was making $200K a year, I don’t think he is going to end up out on the street!

            Being a one time offender doesn’t hold much water either, Ivan Milat was a one time offender once. I don’t think he should get a mulligan on this one based on that defence, do you?

      • Columnist

        March 14th 2017 @ 1:48pm
        Mary Konstantopoulos said | March 14th 2017 @ 1:48pm | ! Report

        VH – I’m with you. I’m definitely not suggesting that the NRL continues to look after him financially, but I would be really disappointed if he was completely cut off and offered absolutely no support.

        • March 14th 2017 @ 3:33pm
          your kidding said | March 14th 2017 @ 3:33pm | ! Report

          Oh Mary!
          Poor little rugby league players , on over $300,000.00 a year playing a sport they are supposed to love. All the support staff, minders, club help etc. They get in trouble and the NRL has to always think of the players welfare 1st and not the people they have hurt.
          Give me a break . If a employee in most businesses screws up in a big way, they are sacked with no support and wont get their job back. The employee has to take it on the chin, move on and make a fresh start. How is the Simona case any different?
          He bet against his own team, snorted coke and ripped off a charity for goodness sake. If there are other players doing the same type of thing , should we go soft on them too?
          The NRL is pretty weak in this area, time to get tough.

        • Roar Rookie

          March 14th 2017 @ 4:15pm
          eels47 said | March 14th 2017 @ 4:15pm | ! Report

          But by offering him counseling or the like they are in fact indirectly looking after him financially. If he is made to pay for the counseling then I guess that is different. But at the end of the day it is up to Tim to sort out his problems, not the NRL. He has ripped off the game and its fans, why do they owe him anything in return?

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