Character counts in AFL Hall of Fame - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Character counts in AFL Hall of Fame

By Sam Lienert 22/02/2010 08:12:06 PM Comments (0)

The AFL has maintained the controversial character clause in its Hall of Fame criteria, despite a review.

The AFL commission also reinforced its stance that legend status should be only about playing and coaching records.

The inclusion of character as one of the criteria by which selectors assess potential inductees has been a polarising aspect of the Hall of Fame process.

It meant that former North Melbourne champion centre half-forward Wayne Carey's failure to be inducted last year - the second year he was eligible - partly overshadowed the actual inductions.

Carey's off-field misbehaviour has seemingly offset his outstanding playing record in the view of selectors.

Likewise, former Geelong great Gary Ablett Sr had to wait several years before his 2005 induction for what would have been automatic inclusion, if not for his personal indiscretions.

But a review of the Hall of Fame charter, overseen by AFL chairman Mike Fitzpatrick, unanimously recommended keeping the current selection criteria, including character, a view endorsed by the commission.

They also determined that the highest status of legend continue to be "exclusively for recognition of the most significant playing and coaching records".

Collingwood last year made a strong, but ultimately unsuccessful, push to have Hall of Fame member Lou Richards awarded that honour.

The Magpies wanted Richards, a Magpies premiership captain and 250-game player, to be recognised also because of his longstanding promotion of the game through his television career.

The review committee will reconvene after this year's Hall of Fame awards to consider whether to create another form of recognition for "great contributions in other areas of the game".

Among changes accepted:

The maximum number of inductees in any single year has been reduced from eight to six.

The requirement to induct a minimum of three players who retired in the preceding 10 years has been reduced to two players.

There needs to be one inductee who was either an umpire, administrator or media representative every two years, down from every year.

And at least 25 per cent of the selectors, of which there will be eight this year, must come from outside Victoria.

Television commentator Dennis Cometti and AFL players association chief executive Matt Finnis have been appointed as new selectors.

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