Secrecy isn’t doing the CFL any good

Credit: DoubleBlue

Credit: DoubleBlue

For a league that tends to keep things close to the chest, the Canadian Football League has somehow become even more secretive.

On Dec. 16, an expansion draft will be held, which will allow the newly-formed Ottawa RedBlacks to select players from other CFL teams. Each team has submitted a list of protected players. However, those lists will only be made available to the RedBlacks.

The league’s reasoning for this decision was explained during a Q&A with fans on Twitter.

While it may be disappointing to players to learn that they were not protected, most players would rather know where they stand with their team. Players know that it is a business and that teams can’t protect everyone. If they knew that they were not being protected, they could begin to prepare themselves to potentially be drafted.

However, one positive effect of the decision is that it opens the fans to speculation, which is second nature to any sports fan. In order to feed the speculation, eight different CFL columnists released their mock protection lists and the BC Lions even set up a feature on their website where fans could pick their own protected list.

This decision is still just another example of secrecy from the CFL. As of now, player salaries and contract lengths are not publicly known, which is unusual in the salary-cap world. Fans want to see where their team sits under the cap and to know how long their favourite players are under contract. As well, fans didn’t even know who was scheduled to become free agents in 2014 until they released a list two weeks ago.

The league is more popular than it has ever been. Ratings, attendance, and merchandising are up compared to previous years. Stadiums are being built. Plus, the league has a lucrative new television contract with TSN.

Fans are always going to be drawn to the CFL game. Without them, the league could not exist. All they ask is for the opportunity to know a little bit more.


Andrew is a second year journalism student at Kwantlen Polytechnic University with the dream of becoming a sports writer.

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