JoJuan-a controversy?

The Stamps have erected a cone of silence that had coach John Hufnagel dodging queries on JoJuan...

The Stamps have erected a cone of silence that had coach John Hufnagel dodging queries on JoJuan Armour yesterday. (Sun Media/Al Charest)

ERIC FRANCIS, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:15 AM ET

Not only did the Calgary Stampeders keep JoJuan Armour at home for tonight's game in Hamilton, they're now keeping fans in the dark over the mysterious circumstances surrounding his "incident."

Saying little more than the linebacker was "in the wrong place at the wrong time" Tuesday night, the Stamps have erected a cone of silence that had coach John Hufnagel dodging queries yesterday.

Although the predominant scuttlebutt is Armour came to the aid of a woman in a downtown incident that went sideways, the coach vehemently refuses to talk about it.

The players won't discuss it, either. They've been told to close ranks on this one.

It's the sort of stuff that happens all the time ... if you're the NFL's Dallas Cowboys or Cincinnati Bengals.

As is the club's right, they'll deal with it behind closed doors and allow the team's and player's reputations to be subjected to the rumour mill.

That's what happens when an organization thinks it can control the flow of information -- stories take on lives of their own and usually blow up in their face. This is starting to.

You tell me how the following exchange between Hufnagel and reporters yesterday in Hamilton comes across:

Is (Armour) being disciplined by the team?: "It was my decision not to bring him."

Is he hurt at all? "He might be bruised."

Aid of a woman who was being assaulted?: "I don't know anything about that incident from what you're saying."

Is this a long-term situation?: "I'm concerned about playing the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and winning the football game."

How difficult a decision is it knowing the importance of this game?: "It's not a difficult decision at all."

Are you disappointed in Armour's conduct? "I'm not here to talk about JoJuan Armour. I'm here to talk about the Calgary Stampeders playing the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, and it's a very important game for the Calgary Stampeders."

How did you find out about Armour?: "He had an off-the-field incident. I found out the next morning. I met with him after practice, and that is it."

Why did you not bring him?: "It was my decision to make and I made the one I thought was in the best interests of this football team and the Calgary Stampeders program."

Will he come back next week?: "He will be part of the football team."

You understand our curiosity: "I understand. I can't say more than what I just said. We're just repeating what we just said."

Are there legal issues?: "There are no legal considerations."

No crimes involved?: "Why are you talking about this? I just got done telling you what it's all about."

Um, no, John. You said nothing. That was your choice.

Public relations-wise, the Stamps look bad. Again.

If Armour did something egregious, the club would look good disciplining him. If he did, in fact, try to help a woman out, he's a freaking hero in my books.

How this affects the club's hopes of winning its first playoff game since 2001 could be the bigger issue as an extended absence by Armour hurts the team's depth.

While he's no longer as integral a part of the defence as he was when filling in for injured middle linebacker Saleem Rasheed, Armour is one of the team's leaders. That said, he is often rotated out for Dwaine Carpenter, who will start in Armour's place tonight.

Never mind the argument the fans deserve to know more about what happened Tuesday night, the player may even deserve better than to have this covered up.

Until we know what happened, it will linger as the club buckles down for games that don't need distractions.

It's naive and foolish to believe fans and the media will simply allow this to be swept under the carpet.

Come clean, deal with it and end it. Or prepare for more of the type of questions, innuendo and controversy that have dogged this franchise for years.


Videos

Photos