Hangover continues for boozy Blues - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hangover continues for boozy Blues

04/01/2010 08:20:11 PM Comments (0)

Carlton have banished Ryan Houlihan, Eddie Betts and Andrew Walker and labelled skipper Chris Judd "negligent" in failing to rein in his team's behaviour on a booze cruise.

Houlihan, Betts and Walker were on Monday all ordered to train with the Northern Bullants VFL side for one month and ruled ineligible for this year's pre-season competition for their drunken misbehaviour after the Blues' end-of-year party last month.

Houlihan and Walker were thrown out of Melbourne's Crown Casino after scuffling with security guards and Betts was arrested for being drunk in the city centre.

Their indiscretions came after all players marked the end of the year by hiring a cruise boat and drinking alcohol heavily; rookie Levi Casboult reportedly handcuffed and pressured into drinking by senior teammates.

Houlihan, Walker and Betts were all fined $5,000 by the club soon after their indiscretions but were given stiffer penalties when the players returned to training on Monday.

Carlton president Stephen Kernahan, a former club captain, blasted the players in a meeting after training before the players discussed the issue among themselves for two hours.

Judd and his leadership group then fronted the board and were told they had failed to keep things in control.

"It is disappointing ... the leadership group has been strong in a lot of other ways but on the day they were probably negligent in what they got up to," Kernahan said.

"They accept that and we made it pretty clear."

Judd said the team leaders had to take responsibility for the indiscretions and pledged they would not be repeated.

"We're entrusted by the club to ensure appropriate levels of behaviour are maintained and we put our hands up today and say we fell seriously short of that and give our word that it won't happen again," he said.

"It's impossible for players to talk their way out of a situation like this, you really have to behave your way out of it.

"Unfortunately with that comes time, so all I can offer are words today, but we will be looking to behave our way out of the predicament we find ourselves in."

Kernahan said the penalties imposed on Houlihan, 27 and a veteran of 182 games, and Betts and Walker, both 23, were designed so they would have an impact on their preparations for the home and away season.

The indiscretions came just two months after Brendan Fevola's public drunkenness at the Brownlow Medal count, which led to his trade to the Brisbane Lions.

Kernahan admitted the three were lucky not to have been sacked.

"This club made a really big stand with Brendan Fevola not so long ago," he said.

"I spoke to the playing group this morning and let me just say, Juddy, I hope I left the boys in no uncertain terms as to what's demanded.

"Were they close? They don't want to push it any further."

Despite the trouble, Judd denied Carlton had a problem with alcohol and ruled out a season-long drinking ban.

Carlton are yet to hear the end of the chapter, as they must by next Monday provide an explanation to the AFL on why they failed to keep the league informed of events.

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