The NLL has lifted the suspension of Rock coach Glenn Clark after charges were dropped by Toronto Police last week. I wrote about this issue last month; the Rock got beaten by Minnesota in overtime, and after the game, Rock head coach Clark punched a Minnesota player in the hallway near the Rock dressing room. Charges of assault were filed against Clark, and the NLL suspended him indefinitely, which was their way of saying “We’ll let the legal system do our work for us, so that we don’t have to bother investigating anything.” Three weeks later, the charges were dropped, and today the NLL decided that if it’s good enough for Toronto Police, it’s good enough for them. Clark’s suspension lasted all of four games.
If the league is trying to shake of its “bush league” reputation, this isn’t going to help. A coach hit an opposing player here — I don’t care how much he was provoked, he just can’t do that. Another article quotes Clark: “…you’ve gotta be very careful because you can’t put yourself in harms way. You have to be very careful to avoid these types of situations. …the game is performed by passionate people and sometimes those passions get the better of us. The lesson I learned is that you really have to be careful not to put yourself in that position.” (emphasis added) Nowhere does Clark take responsibility for his actions. Nowhere does he apologize. The most important thing is not to get into that situation? How about not to lose your mind when you’re supposed to be in charge?
I still don’t think the police needed to be involved, but I think Clark should have been suspended by the NLL for the remainder of the season and fired by the Rock. I’m disappointed with both the league and the Rock for giving Clark what amounts to a slap on the wrist. He’ll be back behind the bench this Friday when the Rock take on the Buffalo Bandits at the ACC, but I will not be among those cheering his return.