Count Non-Import Quarterbacks Toward The Ratio sign now

Tom Wright, Commissioner
Tom Robinson, Chairman of the Board
David Braley, Vice Chairman of the Board
and the Board of Governors
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The CFL is the highest level of Canadian football. It plays an important role in shaping the development of Canadian talent at the professional level and guiding the development of Canadian talent at amateur levels throughout the country.

It is generally accepted that the American amateur system provides better developmental opportunities and a higher standard of training to amateur football players than the Canadian system. While there always have been and always will be exceptions to this general state of affairs, the CFL's import/non-import ratio rules foster improvement in the depth and breadth of Canadian talent at all levels by providing an opportunity for Canadians to excel at the professional level in Canada.

Currently, every player position except quarterback is counted toward the ratio. This tends to allow Canadian prospects at those many positions time and opportunity for professionally development they might not otherwise have. Under this system, many Canadians succeed at the professional level, exceed expectations and become stars in the league.

Because Canadian quarterbacks are not counted toward the ratio they generally do not have the same opportunity. They are at a professional disadvantage.

Indeed, even the best Canadian amateur quarterbacks have little to look forward to professionally, as CFL teams audition one American quarterback after another through a "revolving door" while top flight Canadian prospects are shelved or counselled to play other positions.

Some people allege that a prejudice against Canadian quarterbacks is prevalent in the CFL, citing instances of apparent bias in player evaluation. Alex J. Walling, senior writer of TSN Magazine, details some of these in his February 11, 2005 column "Canadian QB'S Deserve a Chance"*.

We believe that Canadian quarterbacks should be treated the same as other Canadian players. We believe they should have the same status under the ratio. Therefore, we ask that you count Canadian quarterbacks toward the import/non-import ratio just like other Canadian players.

We are NOT asking for a designated roster spot for Canadian quarterbacks. We do NOT think it should be mandatory for teams to carry a Canadian quarterback. We simply ask that the league's ratio rules treat all Canadians fairly.

We are passionate about the Canadian game. We believe it is strong and we want it to grow. Let's take this step and foster this growth. Show the vision and leadership needed to grow this great game.

* to read Mr. Wallings' column, visit http://magazine.tsn.ca/magazine/column_1.asp?bg=football5&story=021105&col=walling

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Lucinda SpenceBy:
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The Canadian Football League

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