CFL teams cheating on the Salary Cap?

This is how CFL teams get around the salary cap. When Arland Bruce last signed with the Argos, he agreed to be paid $190,000 on the books and another $60,000 for work being done for the team in other capacities. But when Brad Watters took over as short-lived president of the team, he balked at paying the 60 large and Bruce's verbal agreement wasn't worth anything.
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To have the credibility of entire league's management system come into question is a very serious matter. I can't believe this isn't a bigger story than one paragraph in Steve Simmon's Toronto Sun column? I'm sure the Globe & Mail will be right on this with a Brunt/Naylor expose, "CFL payola scandal: League on shaky ground?"

It is patently illegal and unethical for any team to circumvent the SMS by paying players under the table, with side deals or personal services contracts with the owners.

This accusation should be clarified or denied by the CFL, pronto!

Isn't this what we've all known for some time now? The Lions and Argos have both been doing this for years, haven't they? I agree that it does need to be brought to light. Open the books on the entire organization. Any moneys received by someone who puts on the jersey and steps on the field to play should be considered player salary. No more of this $150K for playing and $350K for being VP of Community Relations. That's crap.

The Salary cap is doing its job stop complaining! Even teams like BC, who supposedly hand out "under the table money" couldn't fit Murphy or Clermont under the SMS so they were released. All teams have given the impression that they are doing the best they can to fit under the cap given all the off-season vet releases and trades. The parity in this league is great this season as it seems any team can beat any other team any night.

I actually think Bruce is referring to his previous contract, when teams were allowed to sign side deals and secondary contracts with the players. Before the SMS, the salary cap was only a recommendation and not enforced. The cap was described as a "floor" not a "ceiling", as all teams were spending more than the official $2.5M cap.

The Argos had signed many players to off-season deals, having them work in community relations, or at Rona, or other sponsors in the off-season. These deals were all registered and approved by the league. Dave Dickenson's original BC contract in '93 had him receive the league maximum $150k salary, plus approx. $250k for a "marketing" position with the owner's company in the off-season. Again this was approved by the league, as many teams were paying some players above the arbitrary $150k max.

But that all was supposed to end with the enforcement of the SMS and all side deals must be eliminated for the SMS to work.

I still believe that is the case, and Simmon's column today is old news. Bruce's verbal agreement was part of his previous contract, before the SMS. But Simmons made it sound like these under the table payments are still happening...and the league is basically a fraud.

I guess until we hear anything to the contrary, we will not know for sure.

Who cares ! I wish they all made 500k a year.

I don't see the big deal. I agree that it sounds like the author was referring to an old contract Arland Bruce signed. Until it actually comes out that teams are still doing this, I don't see why we should get upset. I'm positive that if there was a real scandal, it'd show up in a real article and not some end of the week recaps/general thoughts piece.

All of the teams' books are audited by independent auditors chosen by the league. If the payments came from a team to a player, they would show up, and be counted as salary. Those deals would be pretty hard to pull off in today's SMS era. Not impossible, but far, far less likely than they might have pre-1997.