Craig Chalmers deserves a second chance
I wish I were perfect, because I could criticise everyone knowing that I could never do anything wrong.
I don't know Craig Chalmers that well, but I think he deserves a chance. A punishment of some sort, or a warning, but to strip him of his current roles in rugby might just be a step too far.
Chalmers tried so hard to get in to see my band after the Melrose Sevens last weekend that he got very bad tempered after having too much to drink and spent the night in jail. Earlier, he and one of his players may or may not have behaved inappropriately toward at a referee.
If the object of our penal system is to reintegrate people, then the object of enquiries in rugby should be to warn them as to future conduct but always with the same aim.
The trouble with Chalmers is that he is something of an easy target. He is famously passionate and loud on the touchline and is the ultimate competitive animal. He was the same as a player.
Unfortunately for him that can be construed as arrogance and if you make a bit of noise, appear confident, and fall out with people then you are pretty sure to make enemies.
There won't be a shortage of people who would like to see Chalmers thrown out of the game or at least dealt with harshly.
Now, there are things that should mean a life ban from rugby, one of them being the use of drugs, like steroids, which give players an illegal advantage. I am also in favour of eye-gougers being banned for life.
But to act stupidly through drink? I am not sure that's the same, because we have all done the same. I hereby confess to acting stupidly when drunk in the past - to my shame.
Chalmers, though, is a "role model" and quite obviously a rugby ambassador as a current SRU employee. So were Matt Stevens, who admitted to cocaine use, and Lawrence Dallaglio who told undercover News of the World reporters that he dealt in the stuff a long time ago.
Chalmers is a pretty good coach I am told, and a member of the current Scotland Under-20 coaching team, which is preparing for a World Cup in Argentina.
In no way do I approve of abusing rugby officials who do the best job they can every time they take the pitch, and in no way do I approve of acting stupidly while drunk. I had, for instance, two alcoholic uncles both of whom died because of their addiction.
But everyone is walking a tightrope here in terms of what to do with Chalmers, who acted like many Scots do of an evening.
Like everyone in rugby I've been wondering what the logic is. And logic tells me that Craig has apologised and confessed as to it being his fault and he has talked of his embarrassment and that, perhaps, is all he can do at the moment.
Logic also says that the SRU and Melrose should warn him as to his conduct but keep him in the game.
I can't see any sense in taking a job away from a man who helped win us a Grand Slam all because of one day he is sure to regret for the rest of his life.
As I say, if I was perfect I might think differently. But I'm not.