Wexford’s 1996 All-Ireland winning manager Liam Griffin believes there is merit in extending the sin bin to hurling.
In his brief as a member of the Club Players Association (CPA) national executive, Griffin was disappointed to learn of Special Congress’ decision to endorse the second-tier football championship before the fixtures review committee put forward their proposals.
But his interest was piqued by delegates’ decision to back the 10-minute sin bin, which will soon come into Gaelic football and he has long argued can be implemented in hurling.
Griffin, who, this evening, will be presented with a Hall of Fame award by the Gaelic Writers Association at their annual awards sponsored by Sky Sports in Dublin, said: “In the past, I stressed a sin-bin was something we needed - and that still holds. The great thing is that you don’t have to put a fellow off.
“Ten minutes is a serious penalty in hurling and football, except that it could lead to teams who lose a player becoming more defensive in that period. I think it is a move in the right direction and if it is worth trying in football it is worth trying in hurling.
“There was a very cynical off the ball foul in last year’s game between Galway and Wexford. It might not have been a red card but had the referee the option it would certainly have been a black card.
It was a foul on Damien Reck off the ball and it was committed to prevent him from making space for himself. It was cynical play and we are not above being cynical. It would be holier than though to suggest that we are.
As regards the work of the fixtures review group on which the CPA have representation, Griffin feels they have been hampered by Special Congress’ second tier decision.
“To be fair, there wasn’t a blank canvas at the start. It was said that everything was on the table but not for this year because they are bringing in this Tier 2.
“This is not being argumentative, but what is the point of the committee meeting to have a whole review of the fixtures while that goes on? Now, politically, the CPA and I, while we are mostly concentrated on the clubs we are also county men in that we have a great love for our counties, we too support Tier 2.
“I was part of a committee that proposed the Christy Ring and a tiered championship in hurling when Seán Kelly was president.
“There were a lot of people who had plenty to say about that at the time too but we felt it was a good idea. We were supportive of a Tier 2 and our thinking, and hopefully it is ongoing, is that you could end up with a system where all counties are treated equally.
“That equality has to be implicit in whatever is brought in, as in equal number of game.”
He continued: “Now that Tier 2 has been passed it may well be that those at the top in the GAA, including the GAA president, may feel it was a necessary step.
“It did not look like an obvious next step; you would have thought that the fixtures committee would have come back first and then it would have been taken on from there. But we are where are now.”