Won't seek to renew contract

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 7:47 AM ET

Tom Wright had some very high-profile enemies within the CFL, but the Edmonton Eskimos were never on that list.

"It's a sad day," said Eskimo president Rick LeLacheur, after listening to Wright announce that he's leaving the commissioner's post at the end of the season.

"Tom has done a great job.

"The profile of the league (has increased) and our sponsorship revenues are up quite substantially."

But LeLacheur isn't surprised by yesterday's announcement.

B.C. Lion owner David Braley and Montreal Alouettes' chief Robert Wetenhall made life very difficult for Wright by being outspoken opponents.

Although the commissioner took the high road by not alluding to any frustration with the board of directors when revealing his future plans yesterday, Le- Lacheur knows it played a role in the decision.

"I am sure that (frustration) came into his consideration," he said. "There have been things that have been said out in public that shouldn't have been said in public. They affect anybody and families.

"One of the differences between the NHL or NFL, is they have about 30 or so governors, which (means) the commissioner in those sports does a lot of the work and reports to the board of governors.

"But when you have a small group of eight (in the CFL) it allows everybody to be very vocal and in some cases probably get too much into the detail."

Stuck with Wright's decision, LeLacheur is at least happy with the fact the commissioner isn't bailing right away.

"Tom has been very fair to the CFL," continued LeLacheur. "It allows us to do a proper (head-hunting) search."


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