new CFL commissioner AMERICAN??

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The CFL's search for a new commissioner is down to a short list of three or four candidates.

And get this: at least one is an American.

That tidbit came from interim commissioner Gene Dunn, former chairman of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, during a telephone conversation yesterday from Montreal, site of the league's coach-of-the-year meetings.

"There's a combination (of Canadians and Americans)," Dunn told Sun Media. "What we did in the beginning is develop a criteria for the office of commissioner. I think we've addressed all the criteria in these candidates.

"Any one of them could be the next commissioner. Any one would have tremendous value to the league. That's my view."

The candidates will be meeting individually with CFL governors over the next few weeks. Dunn says he's hoping for a decision by the end of March.

The hiring of an American commissioner would be a first, not to mention a shocker.

This is such a uniquely Canadian game, with uniquely Canadian markets ranging from small, community-based teams in Regina and Winnipeg to privately-held ones in major centres like Toronto and Vancouver.

It would be hard to imagine a commissioner from south of the border having the understanding to oversee it all.

It's not likely to happen, either, not with just one of the CFL's eight decision-makers, owner Bob Wetenhall in Montreal, from the States.

Whoever is hired will likely have more job security than ex-commish Tom Wright ever had.

Dunn suggested the governors are looking for someone "to be able to take the league forward over the next 10 years."

OK, 10 may be stretching it. But don't be surprised if the new boss gets a five-year deal.

Even that would be ground-breaking. Wright originally received just a three-year contract when he was hired following the 2002 season.

"We're being very careful and selective, because we want this next commissioner to be here for the long term," Dunn said. "It'll be a significant term."

The other interesting revelation from Dunn yesterday concerned the new salary management system, and the next commissioner's role in overseeing it.

There's been lots of talk -- and plenty of criticism, including from this corner -- about the league's refusal to go public with its enforcement of the $4.05 million cap.

The belief was we won't hear which teams are caught cheating, how much they're over-spending and how severely they're penalized.

But to hear Dunn tell it, the new commish will have a say in that.

"There is some (wording) in the constitution that suggests some of the information will be made public, at the discretion of the commissioner," he said.

It had better be. How else will the public have any confidence the system is being adhered to, and that all eight teams are on a level playing field?

There's absolutely no reason to hide this stuff. Arguments about private businesses not wanting to divulge their salaries have no merit.

All it tells us is they plan on cheating, and don't want to be publicly identified when they're caught.

Of course, if full disclosure were part of the new system, it probably would never have been passed.

One step at a time, I suppose.

"The league's done a great job in getting it to this stage," Dunn said. "When we first started talking about it, you couldn't get everyone to agree on anything, not even what to have for lunch."

Heaven help them make the right call on a new commissioner.

Please tell me the American is NOT Gary Bettman! :frowning: :frowning: :frowning: :frowning:


I wouldn't mind an American comissioner so long as he really was the best candidate.

Even though its more likely any given Canadian would know more about the league than any given American... consider how many players, staff, businessmen have been involved with this league who don't have a Canadian passport..

I agree .. I don't care if the next commish is from Canada, United States, or Mars ... as long as he is competent and capable. The league as a whole, is looking pretty good .. As long as the next guy doesnt have any radical ideas and wants to rock the boat .. I think everything should be ok.


Even though its more likely any given Canadian would know more about the league than any given American

True with 'given' but look at all the Americans who have played in the CFL and have called Canada home after their playing days. I'm sure there aren't too many Canadians, for example, that would know more about the CFL than say a Ronnie Lancaster. Just the best possible candidate, as said. But determining this is, or can be, a very difficult task, like interviewing people for any job really, strengths and weaknesses with everyone.

Ronnie would never meet with Braleys approval, cause no way would he kiss anybodies ass.

I don't mean Ron for commish, he wouldn't have the business background. Just making a point for example, doesn't need to be an ex player, or couldn't be might be more exact. There could be an American who would be good as commish who has a detailed knowledge and history of the Canadian game from extensive reading combined with his business connections and experience that might make them suitable, I don't know.

Or maybe Vince McMahon! :frowning: :frowning: :frowning: :frowning: :frowning:

Sorry must be my latest dose of meds..........Too much bad dreamin here!

If a McMoron of any sort (whether he lives in Conneticut or claims to be a league insider), tries to make the CFL "XFL 2000", I'll shave my head (just like The Donald will do to Vince this April)

Mongo who do you think will ultimately have to shave their head?
What a great promo for the WWE.

Those two suggestions almost made me vomit up my cheerios :frowning:

Some of the things coming out of that article sound really, really good though. A bit more power to the commish, and a long-term deal. And a decision by the end of March!

An American would be better than a Canadian who can't do the job ... but he HAS to know this league and how it fits/works in Canada. A Canadian has the edge over an American there. But it's not impossible that an American would know the League well enough to run it. I'm still nervous about letting an American run the league (think Feterik, Gliebermen, Shwarz, Albrecht, etc ... )