Monday, October 31, 2005

An eventful bye week...

It's rare for a football team to be front page news on their bye week, but the Riders have a certain knack for getting unneeded press at the wrong times.

Early Friday news broke that 7th year import linebacker Trevis Smith was arrested at his home in Regina on charges of aggravated sexual assault in a case involving a woman in BC. Speculation began immediately, what were the mitigating circumstances that elevated the charge to being aggravated? We only had to wait a few hours to get that answer. He is apparently HIV positive, a fact we can assume he didn't share with his sexual partner in this case.

This is not the first time that the off field actions of a player have made front page headlines during the regime of head coach Danny Barrett and GM Roy Shivers and I for one am sick of it. It's not bad enough that they seemly completely inept when it comes to fielding anything that vaguely resemble an offense on the field, but they have also lost complete control of their locker room.

Regina is a fairly small community, and members of the Riders are something of celebrities around town. They stick out in crowds, and it doesn't take long for the grapevine to get going when one of them is seen doing something they shouldn't be. I believe it's time the management and coaches lay down the law with the players and let them know that in no uncertain terms will negative publicity be tolerated any longer. I'd like to see the players submit to frequent drug testing and be made to adhere to a strict code of conduct when they are in the community. Once the off field problems are solved, it should be easier to fix the problems on the field.

No comments: