Nathan Buckley’s explanation for what happened in Collingwood’s changeroom on Friday night isn’t being accepted by everybody.
Pies stars Jordan De Goey and Jeremy Howe were caught on camera accessing their phones mid-match after being ruled out of the remainder of their team’s 27-point loss to West Coast with injury.
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Players are not allowed to use their phones during games and Collingwood has come under scrutiny about why De Goey and Howe were able to pick up their devices from a box that should have been locked.
Speaking on AFL 360 on Monday night, Buckley defended the incident, suggesting De Goey wasn’t at fault because he was concussed and didn’t realise he was in the wrong.
“The bloke we’re talking about that grabbed the phones had just been omitted from the game for a concussion so he’s not thinking straight,” Buckley said.
But Garry Lyon called for a harsh penalty and labelled Buckley’s defence the “longest stretch of all time”, questioning why Howe was using his phone when, unlike De Goey, he was not suffering from a head knock.
“That’s exactly what Nathan was doing, trying to mitigate the penalty. There’s a small plausible deniability in all of that,” Lyon said on SEN Breakfast.
“Okay, Jordan De Goey was concussed so he didn’t realise he wasn’t allowed to get his phone. What about Jeremy Howe?
“He didn’t have a concussion, did he? If what Nathan is saying is that Jordan wasn’t thinking straight therefore we can’t blame him, longest stretch of all-time but OK, therefore when he went to Jeremy Howe, Jeremy should have said, ‘Jordan we aren’t allowed to have these, I know you might be concussed and not thinking straight, go and whack them back in the box’.
“I know where Buckley is coming from and I know there’s been a cut in the soft (football department salary) cap, I don’t reckon they used to have someone guarding the box (with the phones in it). Lock the damn box.”
Lyon suggested whatever the players end up getting fined, Collingwood should be fined five times as much.