Wright move for Tom?

Commissioner Tom Wright will not seek out a contract extension, giving the CFL enough time to look...

Commissioner Tom Wright will not seek out a contract extension, giving the CFL enough time to look for a new person to lead the league. (Winnipeg Sun File/Marcel Cretain)

IAN BUSBY -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 8:09 AM ET

CFL commissioner Tom Wright has decided he'd rather jump than get shoved.

Wright announced yesterday he wouldn't be seeking a contract extension from the CFL's board of governors.

His tenure ends after the Grey Cup in Winnipeg and he will fulfil his commitment while the league searches for his replacement.

"I feel very honoured and privileged to have worked with the CFL," Wright said on a conference call.

"We've achieved the vast majority of what we set out to do four years ago.

"It's time for me to look at other career opportunities. I'm very much looking forward to doing it."

Wright's tenure began at the 2002 Grey Cup in Edmonton and featured plenty of challenges. Three franchises faced ownership trouble (Toronto, Hamilton and Ottawa) but only two of those teams survived.

The demise of the Renegades and the fact three governors didn't back Wright -- from B.C., Hamilton and Montreal -- made it clear the board was going in a different direction after this season.

"I wanted to see the CFL as a 10-team league," Wright said.

"That won't happen under my watch. I hope some of the initiatives in Eastern Canada ... will be a catalyst for a 10th team."

Before it can expand to 10, the league must get back to nine, which will be Wright's focus before he leaves his post.

Aside from finding ownership for Ottawa, he also will look at putting in a drug-testing policy.

"The chances are good (in Ottawa)," Wright said.

"It's one of the things I wanted to continue to the end of the season is we have some work to do.

"At the top of that agenda is returning football to the nation's capital."

Gene Dunn, the chairman of the board, said he understands the challenge a commissioner has with getting all eight parties to agree on certain issues.

In that area, he applauded Wright, although he admitted the governors didn't dissuade the commissioner from resigning.

"It's awfully difficult to gain consensus with high-profile, strong-willed individuals who are all CEOs of their companies," Dunn said.

"Tom worked as well as anybody in that area.

"If we could have the same level of accomplishment for another commissioner, I don't think there would be any need to restructure the job."


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