Dunk Tweeted from his account @JDunk12, "Riders grab two Canadians off BC Lions' practice roster" Monday afternoon however Roughriders Assistant V.P. of Player Personnel John Murphy later appeared on 620 CKRM's SportsCage to say that's not the case.
"Well, two things," Murphy began. "Number one, it's not correct to say that anybody's 'stolen'. When you release a player, the player has an opportunity to A) either sign on your practice roster or B) look for other employment. There's options in the world and this is all this was."
I mentioned to Murphy that this appears to be standard CFL business.
"Yeah, if you were released, everybody finds out that you were released," Murphy continued. "As a player you can immediately sign on the practice roster or, because there's no more waivers in the CFL anymore, you're automatically a free agent and two minutes later you can sign a practice roster agreement (elsewhere). The only issue I have is what's being reporting is, you're not stealing anything if neither player ever signed with the B.C. Lions. They were released, their agent called around to several teams, and they had several options offered to them including one to come out and talk to us and see if it's a good fit.
"If it turns out that's where they decide to finalize an agreement with, I could be upset if somebody leaves but all of our practice roster guys had an option of calling other teams or going other places. Two or three guys were offered to stay around this week to see what happens because things always change. One or two said yes and two or three said 'no thanks' and wanted to go home. If somebody's upset over this, that's the first that I've heard of it. Nobody's phoned or contacted us from the B.C. Lions saying they're upset. Nothing was done incorrectly by us. Like I said, it's CFL business. Is it reported properly? No. Because I'm not happy with anyone saying we stole anything. That's not how it went down."
Dunk later Tweeted the suggestion that the Roughriders violated an unwritten rule by signing these two players.
"Ah cut it out," Murphy scoffed. "That's the part that's not reported properly. They were never on the B.C. Lions practice roster. What happened was, the way that teams release players, if I'm doing releases at 3:58, between 3:58 and 4:00 they'll end up on one report. Between 4:00 and the following day, they'll show up on a second report. So, when they did an initial list of cuts, they cut a certain amount of players. That's what they reported. So now no one sees these two players' names on a report of being released and the next thing you hear is 'oh they be going to another team' so everyone's put 2 and 2 together and come up with 4 when that's not the right answer. They're two totally different scenarios."
To hear the entire interview with Murphy, listen to the podcast at www.sportscage.ca. Murphy appears at 5:10 pm.