The Don $5K Lighter

Posted Jun 8, 2006

Certainly no stranger to controversy, and definitely not someone to hold his tongue, Montreal Alouettes’ head coach Don Marshall has reportedly been fined $5000 by the CFL for his recent comments regarding the league’s role in Toronto’s signing of suspended NFL star Ricky Williams.

Matthews’ concerns with Williams’ signing echo those of Als’ GM Jim Popp who voiced his displeasure last week over the CFL allowing one of its teams to sign a player currently under contract to another league.


Where Popp questioned the league’s decision, however, Matthews openly criticized the CFL’s stance, even going so far as to say he is ashamed of the league’s actions.


"I've been in the league a long time and I've watched a lot of things happen," Matthews told reporters Monday. "But I've never been as embarrassed as with how this situation has unfolded."


While it has been widely reported that the Argonauts took advantage of a loophole in the agreement currently in place between the CFL and NFL to sign Williams while he is currently serving a one-year suspension handed down by the NFL, Matthews begs to differ.


"Paragraph 22 says you cannot sign in our league if you are under contract to another league," Matthews pointed out.

Unlike many critics of Williams’ move north of the border, Matthews takes no issue with the former Pro Bowler’s legal indiscretions.  The Don’s beef is clearly with the CFL’s selective enforcement of its own contractual rules.

"The kid is a good kid, I have no problem with him," Matthews said. "I have a problem with how the league put its head in the sand and pandered to the NFL. I'm embarrassed. I'm not being strong, I'm just being honest."


Apparently, honesty like Matthews’ comes with a hefty pricetag.


Herb Zurkowski of the Montreal Gazette noted in his column Thursday, however, that “If Don Matthews has been fined $5,000 by the CFL - and there's no reason to believe he has not - it's news to him. The Alouettes' head coach said he hadn't been informed of any transgression yesterday by the league office.

‘I have no idea what you're commenting about. I've not heard anything from the CFL,’ he said.”

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