Saskatchewan Roughriders President and CEO Craig Reynolds held a news conference on Friday afternoon to address his team's $60,000 fine from the CFL for roster violations. Here are some of his comments:
ON THE PENALTY FROM THE LEAGUE
"Obviously we made some mistakes as an organization. We totally accept that and understand that. This is 100% on us. As an organization we strive to do things with the utmost integrity and we understand where the mistakes were made. We're gonna correct that going forward and it won't happen again.
WILL JONES BE SUBJECT TO DISCIPLINE FROM THE TEAM?
"No. We're going to handle this internally and obviously I've had some conversations. We'll continue to have some conversations but I prefer to keep that internal."
ON THE RIDERS COMPROMISING THE LEAGUE'S INTEGRITY
"Clearly it's disappointing and we're disappointed as an organization. We expect a lot out of ourselves and we strive to do everything with integrity. We strive to be league leaders and we fell down in that regard here. That's 100% on us. I'm ultimately responsible for this organization so it's 100% on me."
DID YOU KNOW NON-ROSTER PLAYERS WERE BEING PAID?
"I had several conversations with the Commissioner leading up to Thursday's announcement where they talked about the violations. We now understand what those violations were and we accept that we were in the wrong."
WHEN DID YOU KNOW THIS WAS GOING ON?
"It's a couple weeks. Similar to what Chris said, the League alerted us they were looking into some of our roster activity, specifically our tryout players. A couple of weeks ago we were alerted to that and had some dialogue continuously throughout that period of time."
WHAT DID YOU THINK OF CHRIS JONES' COMMENTS?
"With all due respect, he's got a football game to coach tomorrow. This has gone on for awhile here. It's been quite a distraction this week. I'm here to address as many questions as I can and I think Coach needs to be focused on the task at hand which is playing Calgary tomorrow."
SHOULD HE BE MORE ACCOUNTABLE FOR HIS GM ROLE?
"Absolutely and I don't want to suggest at all that he isn't being accountable. He accepts accountability for the mistakes the organization made. I think he made that clear in his statement today. Chris and I have had several conversations with that and he's never once wavered from that. I think at this stage he has the dual role and we have a football game in 24 hours and I think he needs to be focused on that."
WHAT ABOUT BEING FINED TWICE IN TWO WEEKS?
"It's very disappointing. Clearly. We had a fine for a ratio violation and we talked about that. We understand where the mistakes were made and have put measures in place to make sure that doesn't happen again. Similarlu here, we've made some mistakes and we've put measures in place where we're not going to make those mistakes again."
WERE YOU PAYING PLAYERS WHO WEREN'T ON THE ROSTER?
"Absolutely not. We have tryout players so clearly you're going to bring tryout players up and assess them versus your current roster. That's what we did. The violations were around tryout players competing with roster players which is against CFL rules."
WHERE WERE THESE PLAYERS STAYING?
"They're here on a tryout basis so when they're here trying out, we'd put them up. I'm sure there were several that were here on a tryout basis, went away, and then were back to be assessed."
WILL YOU BE MORE ACTIVE IN FOOTBALL OPS NOW?
"I wouldn't say a 'more active role' in overseeing the operations. In my role there needs to be oversight and I've mentioned that in the past. I like to grant a lot of autonomy to the football folks and I think I've done that with Chris. But I ask questions and am involved. Obviously when you have mistakes like this you need to understand why and the path forward. He and I have had several conversations around that and will continue to do that moving forward."