Saturday, May 10, 2008

Well, Eamon Sullivan is about to get spanked over D'Arcy comments.

Sunday is almost over in Australia as I write this and I just read comments Eamon Sullivan made regarding Nick D'Arcy which are just sincerely outrageous.

Back ground info: On March 30th 2008, Nick D'Arcy viciously attack Simon Cowley after one report claimed that Cowley extended his hand out to Nick D'Arcy in a congratulatory gesture over his 200 butterfly win at Australian Nationals. While another says Cowley asked him to tone down his bragging.

In the ensuing seconds Cowley's life was irrevocable changed for the worse. He had lost most of teeth, suffered a broken jaw, a broken nose, a fractured eye socket, a crushed cheekbone and fractured palate in the attack and subsequently had to have five titanium plates screwed into his face to repair the injuries.

Of course large amounts of alcohol were involved; ("Fuelled by up to 12 drinks," was what the Daily Telegraph stated), and several members from the Australian national team were also there drinking with D'Arcy and most likely they all witnessed the beating of Cowley as well. Reports say that several members of the Australian team were questioned.

So, the next day the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) gets wind of this and in the ensuing week or so Chairman John Coates forcefully states that though D'Arcy deserves to be presumed innocent, this deed among others is so grievous that he brought not just himself into disrepute but Australian swimming as well. Therefore, he is effectively kicked off the National team. (Apparently D'Arcy had a history of this nonsense whereas he had broken the nose of an Australian triathlete some time before. The AOC does not have to legally presume innocence. They can send anybody they want to the Olympics.)

When Olympic Committee chief Jacques Rogge hears about Nick D'Arcy and the AOC decision, he backs the decision 100% and makes it clear he will support them.

Now, with all this in mind this is what Eamon Sullivan had to say regarding the beating of Simon Cowley; From the Herald Sun: [Link] "... He's quite young and already broken the record for the 200m 'fly. Sometimes mistakes happen, but I can't really say too much. ..."

"He's a great swimmer, so it would be a shame for that talent to give up..."

"It's unfortunate with a few things that have come up," he said. "But over the years, compared to some other sports in headlines every week, we spend 90 per cent of our time training, 5 per cent competing and 5 per cent having a break. ..."

Memo to Sullivan, when you get yourself into a hole and your coach says, "stop digging," or more accurately to not talk to the press, you do what he says. You have not only allowed yourself to tacitly dismiss D'Arcy's behavior just because he can swim a fast butterfly, but you have embarrassed your coach and yourself by taking a side in something contrary to the AOC, the IOC and have probably alienated at least half of the Australian public as a result.

D'Arcy could be sentenced for up to 10 years over this. His court day is June 17th.


Anonymous said...

I think you have been overly reactive to Eamon Sullivan's comment. The quotations are taken out of context as well.

Firstly, the article started with

"SWIM star Eamon Sullivan has encouraged embattled friend Nick D'Arcy to continue in the sport".

Then it goes on to say quote Eamon Sullivan saying, "He's a great swimmer, so it would be a shame for that talent to give up".

Here is the other background informations that needed to be told. It is widely reported that Nick D'Arcy was concentrating on making it to the Beijing Olympics and that he will be concentrating on his medical studies after that.

With his expulsion from the Olympics team, it is widely assumed that this is the end of his swimming career.

I believe this article is about Sullivan telling D'Arcy to not to stop swimming yet. Nowhere did Sullivan implied what D'Arcy did was OK, nor did Sullivan petitioning for D'Arcy to be included in the Beijing team. It was more like, ok Nickj, you have screwed up this one, but keep swimming, there COULD be another one in the future to Make-It in your swimming career.

"But over the years, compared to some other sports in headlines every week, we spend 90 per cent of our time training, 5 per cent competing and 5 per cent having a break. ..."

This is most likely a reference to the current debate that Australian rugby players who are constantly in the news for their after match/training drinking and consequent shenanigans and how they get away with it.

Tony Austin said...

Thank you for your measured response.

My whole premise was based upon this quote: "... He's quite young and already broken the record for the 200m 'fly. Sometimes mistakes happen, but I can't really say too much. ..."

I assume the "...mistakes" comment was in regards to drinking to much and beating up Cowley. the comment seemingly diminished the gravity of of what D'Arcy did by calling it a mistake.

I am sure many other people understood the comment the same way I did, hence, Sullivan should have listened to his coach and voice no opinions whatsoever in regards to anything related to D'Arcy.

Our professional athletes here in the US are over the police blotter too but as they say two wrongs don't make a right. All athletes should be held to the same measure of law.

I suspect D'Arcy will not be going to the Olympics but if he should go, I predict the men's tem will be harassed by questions over it in Beijing

Anonymous said...

The word 'mistake' is probably correct but it definitely does not accurately convey the actual magnitude of its destructive outcome for Cowley.

No doubt D'Arcy was wrong. And everyone in Australia has more or less accepted that he is not going to Beijing because of it.

D'Arcy will have to face criminal charges over his actions. He will most likely face a civil actions as well. On top of that, for all the hard yard he put into his years of training, he is not going to Beijing Olympics after qualifying for it. His "mistake" is certainly not being unpunished.

I know this probably means little to the innocent Cowley. Nothing D'Arcy does now will take away the injury or suffering Cowley is dealing with.

I support Sullivan for standing up for his mate, for telling him to keep on swimming beyond this difficult time and to ask the public for leniency for his mate.
I think that itself shows courage and 'mateship'.

I can comprehend how you and many feel outrageously offended by his use of the word 'mistake' to sum up the unfortunate event. The word was initially used by D'Arcy in his public statement asking not to be trialed by the media.

I agree that the word will probably be an insult to Cowley. But in the context of the message Sullivan was conveying, it should not be taken in isolation to pass judgment on Sullivan.

I guess everyone is entitled to draw their own conclusion. I think the focus should not be on Sullivan's choice of words, but rather that a tragedy has affected two separate individuals through an excessive drinking session. A lesson ought to be learnt from there.

I strongly believe that sportsmen are like the general population in that they make poor judgements from time to time. It is unfortunate that younger people like to idolised them and follow their footsteps. THey are just talented and usually hardworking in their chosen field, and that does not warrant them to be viewed as demi-gods. Placing moral responsibilities on young sportsmen to behave when they themselves are just kids growing up in their cocooned world is probably not the solution. Anyway i am getting way too carried away. This should be another topic of discussion.