OPINION: NRL makes correct decision to deregister Simona
THE decision to end Tim Simona's National Rugby League contract was the perfect, and only, move by the sport's governing body.
The now-former Wests Tigers centre should never play professional rugby league again after he was found to have not only bet on games, but oppositions players scoring and his own team's losses.
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said Simona had also:
- sold rugby league jerseys through online auctions without passing on the full proceeds to the nominated charities, and
- was untruthful in his interviews with the Integrity Unit.
An NRL.com report said that while the game would continue to offer Simona welfare services, they were left with no choice.
"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," Greenberg said.
Greenberg, and the NRL, cop an enormous amount of flak for every single action they do (and don't) take, but the powers-that-be deserve credit for this harsh stance.
In sport, nobody likes a person that willingly flout rules for an advantage.
When it comes to betting against yourself, let alone your team, it erodes whatever trust there was and can be between an individual and their colleagues.
The Tigers' players, coaches, staff and supporters have every right to feel betrayed by Simona's actions.
It is relatively easy for the current Tigers to move on. They will focus on the next game knowing the men who remain are committed to their overall success.
Simona's future is much less clear.
How any professional sporting club could take a punt on adding Simona to their roster is unclear.
He'll almost certainly never play NRL again, and England's Rugby Football League already made it clear any player serving an NRL ban would not be welcome.