Jimenez suspension a CFL low point
Monday, November 12, 2007 | 05:43 PM ET
Apparently, this whole idea that the maximum suspension can only be one game is not true -- according to CFL chief operating officer Michael Copeland. Copeland really couldn't go into it, because there is still the possibility of an appeal, but he said, "there is nothing like that."
The length of a suspension is the commissioner's choice, but Copeland said there were several mitigating factors. He talked about the fact they lost the A.J. Gass appeal and that there isn't precedence for heavy suspensions in the past.
I'm leaving the rest of the column as is, because it only makes the situation worse. Make new precedence. If anything called for a severe penalty, this is it. If Chris Walby, Khari Jones, Greg Frers, Daved Benefield and Gass himself -- who all saw the video -- can say it was among the worst things they've seen, that's good enough for me.
There were no games played today. No franchise folded. No announcement was made about the NFL coming to Toronto.
But, this is one of the lowest moments in CFL history.
For Jason Jimenez to receive just a one-game suspension for crippling Anthony Gargiulo is an absolute disgrace.
Let's look at the list of losers here:
1) The league. People ripped the NHL for the way it handled the Todd Bertuzzi/Steve Moore fiasco. Compared to this, the NHL might as well be the international Red Cross.
Apparently, one of the reasons the penalty is so light is that the CFLPA put up a huge fight. Alright, so suspend the guy for longer and make them look bad. Now, the league looks weak and soft.
2) Gargiulo. The injuries to his legs were so serious that he may never play football again. Add the emotional pain of possibly seeing Jimenez -- in uniform -- hoisting the Grey Cup in two weeks. What a joke.
3) The CFLPA. I know, I know. It has to protect its player. What, did Gargiulo forget to pay his union dues this year? It is absolutely unbelievable to me that this organization would completely abandon one of its own. The next time someone complains that a CFL team cuts an injured player, or that players don't get proper medical treatment, my response will be, "If the union doesn't care about the players, why should the teams?"
The CFLPA is a complete embarrassment.
4) The Lions. The team might think it's a winner because Jimenez will be available should it get to the Grey Cup, but that's not the case. Wally Buono is one of the greatest -- if not the greatest -- coach in the league's history. But he tarnishes his and the organization's image by condoning this. Personally, I believe that the O-line tactics were overblown for much of this season. But Jimenez went way too far.
I'm sitting watching the Wild practice in Calgary, preparing to do an HNIC feature. But when I saw the news release, I had to write.
What a disgrace. What a joke. Everyone here should be ashamed of themselves.
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About the Author
Elliotte Friedman is the host of the CFL ON CBC. Prior to being named host in 2006, Friedman worked on the CFL on CBC broadcasts for the three seasons as a sideline reporter. A Toronto native, Friedman is well known for his additional work on Hockey Night in Canada, as well as his presence on the Torino 2006 Winter Games telecasts as a hockey reporter. Prior to joining the CBC, Friedman worked at The Score network and was widely regarded as one of the best reporters in the country. Friedman used his reporting skills to break stories and file feature reports for high profile events including six Stanley Cup Finals, four Grey Cup Championships, two World Series and one Olympic Games. He is also a regular on the nationally syndicated Prime Time Sports radio telecast, hosted by Bob McCown.
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