As Damian Irvine became the latest victim of the saga, standing down from his position as chairman of the embattled Cronulla club at the centre of an anti-doping probe, former Sharks coach Stuart said he was concerned about the level of adverse publicity surrounding the NRL.
"I'm a fan of rugby league. I'm a tragic of rugby league. And I just think with the profile we have got, this type of speculation and incidents such as this, it creates so much media it overwhelms the game," Stuart said on Wednesday.
"Last week we saw some fantastic football (in NRL round one) and I'm happy the media actually came out and covered that.
"There was some football last week that was really entertaining and that shows we have still got a product that hangs tough in tough times."
The former Australia and NSW coach, who joined the Sharks in 2007 and resigned from there in 2010, said the club had been enduring a leadership vacuum for some time.
Cronulla has not had a chief executive for three years.
"Football clubs need leadership and that's what has been lacking at the Sharks," Stuart said.
"I don't know what's going on down there but at hearing the news (of Irvine's departure) I will be happy now to go down there and take my two boys to a game.
"I haven't been back since I left."