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