Paul Beeston wasn’t interested earlier this year when CFL representatives approached him to become their commissioner. He has, however, agreed to become an aide to new leader Mark Cohon.
During a state-of-the-league address yesterday, Cohon revealed that Beeston has ended his absence from professional sports and will become part of the commish’s newly formed corporate council. The council will keep Cohon in tune with the thoughts of the league’s sponsors.
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Beeston, 62, has been retired since his departure as MLB’s president/COO in 2002. He was in the Blue Jays’ front office from the 1970s to the 1990s, when he established a reputation as arguably the top sports executive in Canadian history.
This will be Beeston’s second CFL stint. He served as the Argonauts’ president in 1994.
•Cohon also mentioned yesterday that he has “reached out” to anti-doping crusader Dick Pound for advice on CFL plans to develop a drug policy. He said he also intends to discuss the issue with NHL, NFL and NBA executives. “From there,” he said, “we’ll come up with what’s right.” ... Mostly, Cohon wanted to announce yesterday his new marketing initiative for promoting CFL players, something he raised in this space June 6. “For us to be successful,” he said, “we have to make our players household names.” Two players from each team — some instantly recognizable (Anthony Calvillo and Geroy Simon, for examples) and some not-so-instantly-recognizable (Brock Ralph and Ibrahim Khan, for examples) — will be showcased in CFL marketing material. Cohon also reiterated what he said here June 6 about his hope to re-establish a CFL All-Star Game ... And a reminder: The CFL’s regular season opens Thursday night so, starting Thursday afternoon, my weeklyCFL Reportwill return to www.metronews.caand will contain news, notes, nuggets and predictions ... The CFL’s website (www.cfl.ca), incidentally, has been revamped and is as aesthetically pleasing now as any league’s.
•Speaking of neat websites, there’s one in which adult hockey leagues can combat their No. 1 problem – finding goaltenders and referees.
MeshMinder Inc. of Burlington, Ont., realized demand often outstrips supply in adult hockey and, partnered with Microsoft, built an application that brought a solution for leagues throughout North America. Check out www.meshminder.com.
•I hear the Chicago Bulls may trade their top pick in this week’s NBA draft — ninth overall — to the Denver Nuggets for ex-Raptors forward Marcus Camby... And from ex-Raptor-turned-Rocket Tracy McGrady, on the TV work of ex-Houston coach Jeff Van Gundy: “If he had the same personality on the sidelines and with the media that he has when he’s commentating, a lot more people would like him.”