CBA Ratified

The CFL and CFL Players' Association will hold a news conference Tuesday regarding a new collective bargaining agreement. A league source requesting anonymity said Monday night the two sides will announce the new deal has been ratified, ensuring the 2010 season will start on time.

The regular season kicks off Thursday with two games. The Saskatchewan Roughriders host the Montreal Alouettes in a Grey Cup rematch while the Toronto Argonauts visit the Calgary Stampeders.

The two sides reached a tentative deal last month but it required ratification from both the players and the league's board of governors to become official. The old collective bargaining agreement expired prior to the start of training camp.

Details of the new deal weren't immediately known but the CFL has said it does contain a drug-testing policy. However, both the league and players union vowed not to comment specifically about the agreement until the completion of the ratification process.

details to be released Tuesday.

The main thing is that there will be football this summer.. as for the drug policy, the devil will be in the details.

I can't wait to see the details tomorrow.

The Canadian Football League and CFL Players' Association announced Tuesday that both parties have ratified a new four-year collective bargaining agreement, which includes random drug testing to begin in 2011.

The drug testing policy starts with an education program for all players in 2010 and random testing to begin in 2011. Twenty-five per cent of all players will tested that year and 35 per cent to be tested in 2012 and 2013.

Upon a first offense, a player is automatically subjected to mandatory testing and an assessment, followed by counselling. A second offence triggers a three game suspension, a third offense a one year suspension, and a fourth offense a lifetime ban.

"This CBA represents a major step forward for our league, and it is a testament to the spirit of partnership that exists between the CFL and the CFLPA, a partnership that flows out of a shared passion for our game and commitment to our fans," said CFL commissioner Mark Cohon in a statement.

The new deal also revamps the league's business model and increases player compensation.

The agreement replaces the provision that had required the league to devote at least 56 per cent of defined gross revenue to players' salaries with negotiated minimum team salary and annual increases in the salary cap.

The change allows CFL teams to retain incremental revenues as they build their franchises, and it ensures players that the salary cap will grow, at a minimum, from $4.2 million in 2009 to $4.4 million in 2013. Teams will continue to share audited financial statements with the players' association.

"We're moving forward together under an agreement that helps our players and helps our league," CFLPA President Stu Laird said.

Also, the minimum player salary grows from $41,000 in 2009 to $45,000 in 2013 and the teams' annual pension contribution grows from $3,200 per player in 2009 to $3,600 in 2013. There are also improvements to insurance benefits for players.

I got to say the CFLPA caved in with this deal. I'm surprised the salary cap is not being increased more considering the players gave up their percentage of gross revenues. Playoff bonuses are also not being increased much. I'm also surprised at the drug policy will be testing 35% of the players every season, that is much higher participation rate than I anticipated. I hope Dick Pound and others who have continually criticized the CFL for it's lack of drug policy will acknowledge the league's drug plan, but they will probably still be complaining that it's not as good as the NFL's, ect.

IMO, they should combine the 1st and 2nd offences.. 1st offence, 3 game supesnion, mandatory testing, assessment and counselling then the 2nd offence would be one year, and the 3rd being a lifetime ban.

also have to spend a week with Dexter Manley! :stuck_out_tongue:

Agreed. The league's finances have gotten miles ahead of where they were even a few years ago and to up the salary cap (that has stayed stagnant despite league revenue growth for a few years now), is a bit of a head scratcher. The players should have gotten a higher salary cap in exchange for a smaller percentage of revenues which will surely skyrocket with all of the new stadium construction and the new TV deal which will be far more larger than the current deal.

Agreed. I like the overall arc of the plan but no suspension for the first offense is ludicrous.

The CFLPA is being taken to school on this deal.What do they gain?
The good thing though, us fans are the real winners.
Let's get on with some football.

PS owners enjoy your new found riches, complements from the CFL players...

Found this little bit of info from the Post,

"The league also reacted to the University of Waterloo PED scandal by adding a provision that the league will give a list of the top 80 Canadian university prospects to the CIS, and pay for drug testing of those 80 players."

Read more: ... z0sJ5xZsQX

Regardless of what you think about Waterloo's decision, hopefully this goes a long way to prevent any university from having to make such a decision in the future. It also solves one of the problems that CIS has in enforcing their drug policy, namely a lack of resources to do proper testing.

[url=] ... 63051.html[/url]

It’s okay to be a Canadian in the Canadian Football League again — unless you are a quarterback.

It’s not okay to take performance-enhancing drugs or masking agents, though marijuana use won’t get you suspended.

It’s okay to root for Ottawa again, keeping in mind that the expansion franchise won’t play a down before 2013.

But it would be dumb to think you’ll get rich in the CFL when the league’s new salary cap is only a bit more than what New York Rangers pest Sean Avery earns in the National Hockey League.

The CFL and its players’ union Tuesday ratified a new, four-year collective-bargaining agreement, which includes in- and out-of-season drug testing; incremental increases to the salary cap to a maximum $4,400,000 in 2013; a $1,000 bump in minimum salaries for each year of the contract; and the closing of a window which allowed players entering their option year to sign with NFL teams.

The CFL also withdrew a proposal which could have resulted in teams reducing the number of Canadian starters from seven to four.

That Canadian-player quotas were even a negotiation point seemed absurd and the backlash from media and fans was considerable.

But the CFL chose not improve the lot of Canadian-born quarterbacks, other than allowing teams to bring them to camp without it counting against their maximum number.

The CFL’s new three-strikes-and-you’re out drug policy, which apparently received big thumbs up from both sides, actually eclipses anti-drug programs in other pro leagues.

“We might have been a little bit like the turtle and hare, but we caught up and we passed them,? said CFL commissioner Mark Cohon during yesterday’s CBA ratification announcement in Toronto.

Random drug testing, which kicks in next season, will be conducted by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sports.

First-time offenders will be required to enter drug-education programs, while a repeat offender earns an automatic three-game suspension.

Anyone testing positive a third time receives a one-year ban, and a fourth offence gets a lifetime ban.

Ed Molstad, legal council for the CFLPA, said players were “virtually unanimous in their support for drug testing for two reasons: It’s good for their health and it creates a level playing field.?

Recreational drugs, like cannabis, were excluded from the banned substance list.

Possession, however, remains illegal in Canada.

While CFLPA boss Stu Laird seemed satisfied with the new CBA, it could be argued the players gave up more ground than they gained.

n Teams are now allowed to hold three-day mini-camps between Feb. 1 and April 30. While participation isn’t mandatory, it is probably a good idea to show up.

n In exchange for a $300,000 increase in the salary cap over the duration of the CBA, players can no longer claim 56% of league revenues from ticket sales, television revenue and merchandise sales.

While yesterday was a good day for Cohon on the labour front, so was news that Ottawa city council had voted to help refurbish Lansdowne Park and Frank Clair Stadium — key to the CFL returning to the nation’s capital in 2013.

“The league is in a position now where we can truly invest in growth,? Cohon said, also mentioning the Toronto Argonauts’ Sept. 26 game in Moncton against the Edmonton Eskimos and potential new stadiums for Hamilton, Winnipeg and Saskatchewan as positive signs.

wow. the only league doing blood tests with urine tests, and testing for HGH. the CFL has become the leader in drug-testing.
also, with the minimal increase in player salaries, the CFL can continue to grow. i think players recognized that they must stay stagnant in the salary department so they can get blood testing, and allow the league to expand to ottawa, thus creating more jobs...the league will be in much better shape when the next CBA comes around, and the players will likely get a bigger piece of the pie then....seems they are both working together towards a bigger goal.

I read on that the option year will be a thing of the past after 2012... That is a pretty big change.