Parramatta NRL player Corey Norman is desperate to win the 2016 Frownlow Medal.
So desperate, he became involved in an incident concerning a sex tape and the consumption of illegal drugs, shortly after being charged with possession of drugs outside The Star casino and being photographed dining with known criminals. Worse still, it was Norman himself who posted some of these images on social media.
Then, to further stake his claim for the medal, he pleaded guilty to the charge of possessing MDMA at The Star and was stood down by the Eels for the game against Penrith in round 19.
The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off-field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. The first medal was awarded to Sydney Roosters and New Zealand representative Shaun Kenny-Dowall in 2015.
Norman had previously attempted to avoid prosecution for the possession of MDMA by using the My Dodgy Mate Alibi, but since changed his mind and admitted his wrong doing. He has also been accused of accepting illegal cash payments in a car park from a club official.
His presence in the sex tape has been defended by various Rugby League players, past and present, including Frownlow Hall of Fame nominee Andrew Johns.
Interestingly, the more he becomes involved in controversy, the better his on-field performances become. Norman played brilliantly, without regular halves partner Kieran Foran, to lead the Eels to victory over the Roosters in Round 18.
First published in July 2016.