Caroline Wilson slams AFL and AFLPA in initial comments on Betts’ book

Age Caroline Wilson has opened up about Eddie Betts’ biography details for the first time.

Wilson, along with fellow journalist Sam McClure, had reported disturbing details about what happened at the Crows’ preseason camp in the years that followed. However, in February of that year, they apologized and, at the behest of their employer, withdrew their coverage of the camp.

Both had to take a lot of criticism after their apology.

The biography of Betts entitled The boy from Boomerang Crescentaddresses numerous issues noted in Wilson and McClure’s reports and seems to indicate that the reports were correct.

There were many episodes from the book’s release on Wednesday. Mark Ricciuto, a club legend who remains Adelaide’s director of football, reacted to the news.

“The welfare of the players always comes first, no matter what,” Ricciuto said Triple M Adelaide.

“You always want everyone to be happy and all, so it’s very sad that Eddie wrote that.

“I think the club have at times put on record that they acknowledged it wasn’t handled perfectly and had all the good intentions but it didn’t go perfectly.”

However, Wilson blasted those comments.

“It’s obviously devastating what Mark Riccituo is saying is so inaccurate,” she said Nine’s Footy classified.

“How can you call some of these revelations imperfect? You are frightening.

“(They say) ‘We’ve moved away from that as a club,’ they never moved away from that. The AFL will tell you that’s part of the problem.

“And don’t get me started on the AFL. They knew all this and did nothing.”

The next phase of the story should revolve around the lack of reaction in the aftermath.

Both the AFL and WorkSafe SA investigated at the time and found no violations, but Wilson believes decisive action should be taken.

“It required discipline and punishment,” she added.

“The AFL tells me today that they broke no rules. What if the game is discredited or misbehaving?

“Surely what we’ve heard from Eddie Betts brings the game into disrepute?

“How could they not act? I know they took action but that wasn’t good enough for me.”

The veteran journalist also spared particular criticism for AFL Players’ Association CEO Paul Marsh.

The AFLPA released a statement on Wednesday night, noting that the revelations in Betts’ book were new revelations and the body would investigate further by speaking to Adelaide players at the club in 2018.

But Wilson discredited these reports, suggesting that she herself informed Marsh of the horrors at the camp and urged him to investigate.

“With the PA I’ve spoken to Paul Marsh countless times… Paul Marsh I’ve called him repeatedly over a period of 18 months how can he say he didn’t know I’m shocked more than anything by this,” she specified.

“Taylor Walker, I was at his house in March 2018 and we talked about camp.

“He liked the camp, but he spoke about Aboriginal issues and he said, ‘I said to my teammates, let’s get this game in Richmond[back then]over with… and then we’ll take care of it.’

“After that, I called Paul Marsh and said, ‘You need to talk to the Indigenous players,’ and then I called him with other allegations, terrible allegations from other players.

“As he can put it now…they (AFLPA) get paid a lot of money, their investigative resources are certainly better than that.”

In the bio, Betts suggests that the culture at the club has changed, leading to many choosing to leave West Lakes.

Six players requested a swap from Adelaide between 2018 and 2020, while four free agents also left the club.

Marsh spoke along SEN breakfast As of Thursday morning, the assumption of his body could have done more research.

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