CFLers speak out against cutting number of Canadian starters

Monday, November 09, 2009
Canadian Dis-content
CFLers young and old decry idea of cutting homegrown starters to four
The Toronto Sun

Try to picture Canada without the maple leaf, hockey or the RCMP.

It's impossible and preposterous. Now, if you're a fan of the Canadian Football League -- and television ratings across the country indicate there are hundreds of thousands of you -- picture the CFL with less of the very thing that makes the game Canadian, it's homegrown players.

That appears to be the goal of the CFL, as decreasing the starting number of Canadians to four from seven for each game is on the table as the league and the CFL Players' Association have started negotiating toward a new collective bargaining agreement.

This is an issue that shouldn't be a negotiating chip, and it certainly does nothing for the confidence of young Canadians whose pro aspirations centre around playing in the CFL.

Argos player reps, Bryan Crawford and Andre Talbot (both Canucks), refused to discuss the issue yesterday. The league has no interest in being transparent on the topic and commissioner Mark Cohon is unwilling to talk.

The view that Canadians remain an integral part of the CFL is shared by those whose playing days are long over, but whose interest in the CFL never has waned. Nick Volpe, who won Grey Cups with the Argos in 1950 and '52 and now is a consultant with the club, remembered his playing days with a glint in his eye.

"We had four Americans playing at that time and the calibre of the game was great," said Volpe, one of the league's true gentlemen. "I would love to see one of the three quarterbacks (on each team) be a Canadian. I would love to see more Canadians playing."

Another Argos alumni, Grant McKee, a defensive back from the 1960s, cringed at the talk of dropping the number of starting Canadians.

"It's totally wrong," said McKee before yesterday's game between the Argos and the Als. "I'd still support the team but the thrill of it is watching Canadians play and grow."

The story basically leaked is that Cohon is heading this reduction in Canadians, and working with the NFL to try and get our league to become a development league, since the NFL doesn't have one anymore.

I firmly believe the players will never stand for it.

and now that I read this, if the players go to the picket lines, I'll support them! :rockin:

Er, whether we like it or not, the CFL already IS an NFL development league.

yeah but Cohon is the guy who's doing this.

he should be supporting our Canadian Talent and not trying to take it away!

this league is built on it's Canadian players.. and it should ALWAYS be that way.

the players will never allow it to happen... period.

Consider this...

Reducing the starters (but maybe not the total number of Canadians on a team) done in conjunction with the NFL to make the CFL officially a de-facto developmental league for the NFL. Not controlled by the NFL, but with an established arrangement where some of their street free agents/drafted players/practice roster are able to play here for a few years without the team giving up its rights.

What if the carrot for the CFL in this arrangement was a signed agreement with the NFL against any Canadian franchise expansion - in effect, protecting the CFL from NFL incursion indefinitely. Worth the trade?

Food for thought, if only that...

You still need 20 Canadians per team. Just fewer starters. Four is probably low, but it's an opening bargaining position. No one goes in to CBA negotiations stating their end position at the start. Seven may be high, as soon as a team gets into any NI injury trouble, depth can get dicey fast.

I suspect they'll end up giving a little on the salary minimums and cap, and reduce Canadian starters to 6, and possibly 5 if a 9th team gets added.

And, as I think about it, are not American players in the CFLPA too? Maybe they're not all that opposed to the idea.


Where does it say anything about Cohon being behind this push, or anything about becoming a development league??? Pretty misleading thread title.

This is absolutely disgusting to me. Total hypocrisy by these owners.

Let me get this right ? They want tax payers to build and fix their stadiums to the tune of a billion dollars to make more room for Amercian pro athletes. LOL! Morons...

Why would the CFL get in bed with a league that is in the process of taking over the market where its head office is based ? I can't see it.

Why ? Why ? Why?

You think you could sell something like that to Americans ?

And they want tax payers to build them new stadiums ? Maybe they should go ask Americans to kick in 90 percent of the stadium money.

read between the lines man.. any intelligent man can see it.

when he says that Cohon isn't answering any calls or emails.. he's got a lot to do with it...

The fewer the mandated Canadians, the increase in the overall talent of the league. Not saying that's the final issue but that's the truth I'd say. That being said, as a big CFL fan I want more Canadians. That being said I recognize that attracting fans not currently into the CFL would be to line up more and more with the NFL, even if it means mandating no Canadian positions at all. What's best for the league, I have no idea to be honest and I don't think anyone does unless they are Hoodini.

It is very shortsighted on a business level as well.

When leagues start creeping out of the ground in the US and they always do. The CFL will lose these players to American based teams because for the same money guys will play in their own country and I understand that.

By mandating 4 starters there will be even less Americans playing ST as they will be the backups of the starting americans. We'll end up with all the Americans starting and our Canadians doing the dirty. I will not support a two-tier league where Canadians are second citizens the hell with that.

Now I understand the last words Tom Wright said to us fans before he left... That this is OUR league it belongs to the fans not Cohon and his 8 bananas.

This quote says it all I think

The lack of Canadians, or certainly Canadian experience, on their coaching staff hurt the Argos in 2009. Head coach Bart Andrus was asked yesterday how quickly the autopsy on the season begins.

"We're going to go right into it," Andrus said. "We want to get our coaches out of here for the U.S. Thanksgiving."

Bottom line is the more Canadian positions the better, most people buy into the CFL concept if they are into it at all anyways so why more Americans unless it can be proven you'll sell-out all stadiums all the time anyways, and that can never be proven and will never be proven.

I assure you that the players in the league, American or Canadian .. especially the ones who are veterans, not these guys who come here just to play and go back to the NFL in 1 season, will support everyone! they'll stand behind the Canadians and won't let the League change it.

You know, I was going to make the same comment dmont made. If this is all the evidence you have, then you're full of crap. Why don't you stop being lazy and find some real evidence before you drag a man's name through the mud. Quite pathetic.

The thread title is changed until you can back up your wild accusations... :roll:

You've gotta be kidding me. You got everyone scared and worked up over nothing.

This thread is pure conjecture and conspiracy theory, and I would argue that the subject title is misleading to the point where the entire thread should be deleted from the board.

All we know is according to the Sun, the idea of reducing the quota has been floated in the negotiations. That's it. We don't know who's behind it. It's more likely to be the board of governors, who actually bear the burden of managing teams, than Mark Cohon, who has repeatedly played the nationalist card in promoting the league and saying the Canadian-ness of the league is one of its strongest assets.

You've truly outdone yourself with the "NFL Development League" crap. Not only is there no mention of the NFL article, the CFL hasn't had ANY negotiations with the NFL for the past two years. Furthermore, why on earth would the NFL be involved in CBA negotiations?

If you want to be angry at the thought of lowering the quota, fine. But quit passing off laughable attempts at "reading between the lines" as the true message of the article.

fine, the truth will come out sooner or later..

And if it does, then you can toss around your wild accusations, k? :wink:

Seems to me that if the CFL were to become a "development league" for the NFL that all of the differences between the two leagues would have to be erased since the type of player who is successful in the NFL isn't the same type of player who will be successful in the CFL. Going to 4 downs, smaller field, etc. ain't gonna happen.

No the CFL is not comparable to the AHL. It is in direct competition for players, The NFL does not financially support the CFL, The CFL develops its own Talent which is Comparable to the NFL. I hope the CFLPA never rolls over and gives up , Seems like you did a long time ago Artie ? The problem here is A coach like Bart "DOE "Andros who has no respect for The Canadian game even though he got his A%# handed to him by the rest of the CFL this season,. He will blame A B # he will blame K.J. and he will blame the Canadians, but never will the NFL or its wannabees accept they are inferior to Canadian football.LMAO- CFL R.I.P.!

Correct. But I am CERTAIN that some owners want the league to expand to american markets.