Argo office in turmoil – Metro US

Argo office in turmoil

Rich Stubler has surprised the Argonauts’ braintrust and is refusing to succeed Michael “Pinball” Clemons as Toronto’s head coach unless he receives full control of the club’s football operations and unless assistant general manager Greg Mohns is fired.

Clemons will become the Argos’ president and/or CEO next week and Stubler, his longtime defensive co-ordinator, has been his choice to replace him.

Brendan Taman is the leading candidate to become the new GM of the Tiger-Cats — no ifs, ands or buts about it — but Hamilton might only be able to obtain him from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in a trade.

Taman has a year left on his contract as Winnipeg’s GM and cannot jump to Hamilton without permission from the Bombers’ bosses, who want either a player or a draft choice, or both, from the Ticats before they’d let him talk to them.

• The Montreal Alouettes likely will follow in the footsteps of the Grey Cup champion Saskat­chewan Roughriders by hiring a head coach who was fired from his previous CFL job as an offensive co-ordinator.

Jacques Chapdelaine is the top candidate to replace Jim Popp who, as reported here months ago, will not be kept on largely because his abilities were questioned by a bevy of Montreal players, including kicker Damon Duvall, son-in-law of club president Larry Smith.

The Als are interested in Chapdelaine partly because of his CFL experience and partly because he is a francophone. Chapdelaine was fired recently as the Edmonton Eskimos’ offensive co-ordinator. Before this season, the Roughriders hired Kent Austin as their head coach even though he was fired last season as the Argos’ offensive co-ordinator.

• Popp’s status as the Als’ GM also is in question. He could be fired from that post, too … Tom Higgins wants the Montreal job(s), but won’t be considered since ex-Als head coach Don Matthews has strongly advised owner Robert Wetenhall to disregard overtures from the former GM/head coach of the Calgary Stampeders — and Wetenhall still values Matthews’ recommendations. In fact, during the past season, Wetenhall and Smith were thinking of rehiring Matthews … My old friend, Toronto Star columnist Dave Perkins, suggested this week that Austin may end up as coach of his old school, the University of Mississippi, but that won’t happen. Ole Miss has hired former University of Arkansas coach Houston Nutt and never approached Austin. … And don’t be surprised if rule changes take place in the off-season that will make it difficult for CFL defences to dominate again in 2008. Details to come in a future York Report.

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In three-plus decades as a columnist and broadcaster, Marty York has built a network of solid contacts and a renowned reputation for his hard-hitting, groundbreaking style. The tradition continues in Metro Sports.