Realty One



Wednesday, December 16, 2015


MONTREAL - The Canadian Football League placed a moratorium on the movement of coaches between teams on Wednesday after reports that Montreal Alouettes defensive co-ordinator Noel Thorpe agreed to join the Edmonton Eskimos.

First-year commissioner Jeffrey Orridge sent a memo to CFL team presidents and general managers saying any movement of a coach already under contract will need the league's approval.

"Effective immediately, there will be a moratorium on any coaches' movement from one club to another club, unless such transaction is expressly approved in writing by the commissioner or his delegate, prior to the movement taking place. This only applies to coaches who are currently under contract with a CFL club,'' the memo read.

The move came with the league in apparent chaos after a flurry of movement, accusations of tampering and demands for compensation as coaches bolted one club for another.

It included Grey Cup champion head coach Chris Jones leaving the Eskimos to join the Saskatchewan Roughriders, taking all but one of his staff with him. Eskimos GM Ed Hervey was fined by the league for bringing the league into "disrepute'' for saying that tampering with other team's personnel is commonplace in the CFL.

On Wednesday, there were reports that Thorpe had resigned as Montreal's defensive co-ordinator and associate head coach even though he has two years left on his contract. He was expected to join Edmonton.

Alouettes GM and head coach Jim Popp had not responded to a request for comment.

Thorpe is believed to covet a head coaching job one day and likely wanted out when it was announced Popp would return as coach next season. The Alouettes are also thought to be grooming former star quarterback Anthony Calvillo for the job.

Alouettes defensive end John Bowman, the club's all-time sacks leader, was disappointed that Thorpe would leave while still under contract.

"Football players can't resign and go to another team,'' said Bowman. "You've got to man up.

"If you don't like the situation you're in, you've got to play through it. That's the route he chose to take. Me, I feel like if you sign a contract, I expect to live out the contract. Some people don't see it that way and he chose a different route. Good luck to him and his family.''

Losing Thorpe would be a blow to the 5-13 Alouettes, who struggled on offence this season but kept most games close because of a solid defence.

But Bowman suggested it was less about the co-ordinator than it was the talent on the field.

"I've had five or six defensive co-ordinators; I've been an all-star seven years,'' the 10-year veteran said. "A defensive co-ordinator shouldn't make you or break you.

"He's just here to implement his scheme and hopefully you've got players who can run his scheme.''

He said that if coaches are allowed to break contracts, top players may insist on one-year contracts because they want to know who their coaches and co-ordinators will be from one season to the next.

Bowman, a free agent, has yet to hear from Popp about a contract for next season. He had planned to retire after the 2015 campaign, but hopes to return after an excellent season in which he led the league with 19 sacks.

(Canadian Press)


Anonymous said...

kind of closing the barndoor after the horse is out?

On the other hand all (or most) of the assistant coaches are on one year contracts so what is a couple of weeks before bolting.

If the league wants high quality ambitious coaches he better not do too much to tie down movement.

Anonymous said...

I guess the cry babies in Edmonton and Ottawa have the attention of our invisible commissioner. Coaching movement happens in all sports, if your boss won't give other teams permission to improve yourself, why would you continue to work for them. Coaches put in long hours with no security and no pension.

Anonymous said...

How does a guy who can't even present a trophy properly think he is ever going to stop from resigning and going elsewhere. For years and years in all types pro sport the movement of coaches and executives is woven into the fabric of the sport. Because someone doesn't like it pound sand. More than the resin for guys staying with a team is the reason guys want to leave a team. Could it be some of the GM's and owners are not that good to work for. When a bunch of guys from one team leave that team, it speaks more to the people running that team, as opposed to the team they are going to.

Most people conveniently fault to remember Ed Hervey criticizing his players publicly using their names and embarrassing them publicly. He also went down on the field and performed some antics down there. So much so that the Players Association had to get involved, and I also believe he was fined and disciplined by the league. A person should be wondering just how wonderful he is to work for…just saying.

Anonymous said...

How does the League not see this coming? GM's and owners really pushed things with all the no grey cup teams news during grey cup week and now he wants to put a lid on this stuff.

Wake up commish. Got caught with your pants down on this one.

Rob Swallow said...

Who's hand is up the Commissioner's back on this announcement? This guy has to go. He is completely out of touch with professional sports. Why would any coach want to work in the league if they don't have the freedom to move to where they get the best opportunity. Is this even allowable under provincial and federal labour regulations.

Anonymous said...

Well, just one more bone-headed move by our new commish. Dear Santa, please, can we have Mark Cohon back and send Orridge and his new logo back to the CBC?


@mrt_man said...


Anonymous said...

I would support something being done. Not sure what though, loss of a Draft pick would certainly harness movement and if a Dollar cost were added that would be a possibility. The Riders started this with the Chris Jones hire and I realize he received a promotion. The reality is he was offered an increase in Salary. Would Jones of come here for the same Salary increase at only the coach level. I suspect so. The CFL does look rather bush though when the Richest club can hire the Grey Cup Champion coach with all his assistants one week after our National Championship. I wonder what the deal is with Noel Thorpe.

Anonymous said...

This guy is inept for the job. Let's start a new search for our new commish.

Anonymous said...

The whole staff wouldn't have left Edmonton if it was all that some are cracking it up to be. I doubt they are as much in love with Hervey as he would like to portray. When that many people in ANY one organization want and choose to leave, there is usually a hell of a good reason behind it. In most cases you would think some would stay on to gain a possible professional advancement but not in this case, why? If your the boss and all your staff walks out on you, why? It wasn't for the money because pay rates are pretty standard. There was clearly another reason. The whiners should be looking inside not outside. All sports do it and the NHL just did away with compensation. Orridge and the whiners are a day late and a dollar short. Furthermore why would a team want coaches who clearly don't want to be there? Jones would not be the only reason these guys choose to leave. What was it?

Anonymous said...

The only reason it's the richest club is because the fans choose to support it when its's 3-15. What team in the league can put 30,000 fans in the stands with a record like that? To all the stupid a_holes out there bitching about money, please get back on your meds. How much do you think Edmonton will pay Hervey, Maas and their OC this year? I'm betting as much or more than Jones who is GM, HC, and OC. So what does being rich have to do with anything. It's a red herring the whiners and the old boy crowd are trying make a point when it isn't. None of the coaching staff are making anymore money than they would have in Edmonton. They left for another reason(s) and it might be interesting to know. Being good soldiers they will never tell buy you can bet big that there was another reason. Otherwise they would not have all defected.

Anonymous said...

Nice league

Anonymous said...

Outside of Craig Dickenson, nobody in the league taking that head coaching job in Edmonton would have hired those coaches to stay anyway, so I can't see what is the big deal. Montreal might as well let Thorpe go as well, get a little compensation for him moving on cause of his contract status, you don't want somebody to stay who wants to leave, good riddance.

Anonymous said...

"No coaches with term left on their contract may resign from their clubs and sign elsewhere without written consent by the Commissioner or his delegate".

What happens if the Commish decided that the coach couldn't make a move to move up and better his life and that of his family? I smell lawsuits.

What a dumb ass idea.

Anonymous said...

C'mon CFl time to get a grip on the Riders and other teams for the idiotic behavior.

This is totally out of control!!!!!

Lets restore some decency to the league.

Anonymous said...

For what I understand Thrope was still under contract for a couple more years with the Als. and the move to the Eskies was a lateral move.The Eskimos coaches that moved to Sask are all going to be free agents Jan 1. So not much the league or Mr Orridge can do when a free agent coach moves to a new team on Jan 1. Apples and Oranges

Anonymous said...

Remember when the Evil Empire used to say screw the rest of the league and buy its championships !!! karma is a.... Lol

Anonymous said...

One CFL executive responded quickly to Orridge's memo.

“Coaches better be careful because there are going to be major ramifications on this and there's is unanimity that coaches’ movement needs a legitimate policy for those coaches under contract,” the executive said. “And that was before the latest issues with Maas and Thorpe. The Thorpe issue is an absolute joke. In the 80's and 90's we let football people run the business and drive the bus. Look what it got the league — almost killed it. Now we have professional operators and sophisticated owners who understand you don't let the inmates run the asylum. Why do we have contracts at all? What would stop a coaching from quitting midseason and going to work for another team in the postseason? The whole thing is insanity.”

Anonymous said...

Eskimos GM Ed Hervey was recently fined by Orridge for "comments that bring the league into disrepute."

Hervey lost his head coach Chris Jones, lured to the Saskatchewan Roughriders for more title, responsibility and money, and then watched as Jones took his entire coaching staff with him to Regina.

When asked if he thought Saskatchewan had tampered with his former head coach, Hervey was blunt.

“As far as this league, we know that tampering does happen. It does. We do it. Everyone does it. It’s just a part of the CFL,” he said.

Anonymous said...

The CFL can't get a grip on anything. The Riders put more money in the CFL coffers than any other team. The morons who bitch on here are just that "bitchy morons" who know nothing at all. It's funny when a guy (Jarius Jackson) is offered a promotion to stay in Edmonton but chose not to. He would rather sign here where he wants to be, even though it means losing money. How did money or resources fit into that? Such mis-informed dorks. How come that many guys didn't want to re-up in Edmonton? Edmonton took Maas and are trying to take Thorpe so they are no different than any other teams. When Jones came from Toronto to Edmonton two years ago he brought most of those guys with him from Toronto. Hervey had no problem with that. After years of supplying the East with players and coaches from the West, some of the puke managers down there are bitching. Typical. Edmonton took our DC for their head coach and nothing was said. It's just the way it goes. All of the coaches in Edmonton had an expiring contract on Jan 1 and were not coming back even for a promotion. That should tell you all you need to know.

The only idiotic behaviour is by some of the posters who don't know crap from fat meat, and it shows.

Anonymous said...

Orridge is in way over his head, if he wants to straighten out something how about the refs.

Anonymous said...

"posters who don't know crap from fat meat, and it shows"

Ok - that is pretty funny.