DAVID Sole has decided not to appeal against the six-month ban imposed by the Scottish Rugby Union for bringing the game into disrepute, but Edinburgh Academicals are still to contact the SRU to express their shock and astonishment at the severity of the sentence, writes Derek Douglas.

The former Scotland captain was suspended until May 11 following a Murrayfield disciplinary hearing which investigated the ``tantamount to cheating'' remarks made by Sole about the performance of referee Colin Henderson after Edinburgh Academicals' premiership defeat by Melrose.

Yesterday, Sole, who has been coaching the Academicals' forwards in addition to overseeing the Raeburn Place under-21 side and assisting with the mini and midi-sections, said: ``I consider the matter to be closed and I don't see any point in appealing. I shall continue to go along to Raeburn Place but obviously not in a coaching capacity.

``We have a good young side and in Paddy Haslett, Barry Stewart, and Scott Murray we have three players who have the ability to go all the way. The whole affair just saddens me but I'm not going to get bitter and twisted about it.

``So far as next season is concerned I don't know yet what I'm going to do. There are a number of things happening on the personal front which might influence my decision one way or the other,'' he said.

Academicals remain angry at the sentence imposed on their assistant coach - and in particular the effect it will have on Sunday afternoon sessions with the seven-year-olds - but will follow the lead given by Sole.

In a statement yesterday they declared: ``After intensive consultation David has indicated that he does not consider it worth the powder and shot to appeal against the ban.

``For our part we have decided therefore not to take any formal appeal action but will be writing to the SRU expressing many concerns over the manner in which the ban was arrived at and their shock and astonishment at the severity of the sentence when compared with suspensions handed out for violent, dangerous play.

``Accies would like to express their thanks to the many ordinary members of the public and individuals from other clubs who have contacted them expressing their surprise and deep anger at the length of the ban handed to a national sporting hero.

``Particularly appreciated is that from many people connected with mini rugby who have expressed their continued support and bewilderment that their children will be denied the services of a coach whom they respect and admire.

``Although the severity of the sentence and the manner in which it has been arrived at still rankles, perhaps the approaching new year indicates the time has come to draw a line under this matter and for Accies to look forward to the second half of the season and the challenges that await them next year,'' said the statement.

Privately, many senior Academicals are still angry at the intervention of international referee Ray Megson who said that he would not officiate at Raeburn Place until the matter was resolved. His intervention came, as he admitted later, at a time when he had not realised that Accies had not condoned Sole's comments.

Megson is scheduled to referee Academicals' Boxing Day game with Edinburgh Borderers. One Raeburn Place insider said yesterday: ``Perhaps Ray might consider discretion to be the better part of valour on this occasion. It might be best if frayed tempers were given time to heal.''

q ACADEMICALS hooker Kenny Day has been banned for 12 weeks after having been sent off for stamping against Watsonians.