Technology has CFL teams even more on edge

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 5:43 AM ET

Shawn Gallant remembers vividly the week leading up to the 2007 East Division semifinal in Winnipeg.

Gallant and his Montreal Alouettes were on their practice field outside Olympic Stadium when several members of the team noticed a man with a camera. The lens was pointed right at them.

Gallant asked defensive co-ordinator Chris Jones if he should pursue the man, who was walking away. Jones said yes, and Gallant ended up scaling an eight-foot-high fence before catching up with the man.

Gallant asked if he could check the camera. The man said sure, and Gallant took a peek. Turns out he was simply a tourist.

"It was just a bunch of pictures of Olympic Stadium and buildings downtown," the Bomber safety said with a sheepish chuckle yesterday.

That tells you the paranoia level at which CFL teams operate. Technology today has them even more on edge.

Gallant, however, said what part-time Bomber scout Ron Trentini got caught doing on Tuesday at Ivor Wynne Stadium -- charting plays and formations during Tiger-Cats practice -- doesn't constitute cheating.

"If that's what people are going to get mad about, some guy in the stands writing down plays, then ... wow," Gallant said. "To us, that's like ... so?

"Unless you know when that play's going to get run, it doesn't even matter."

The Alouettes, coincidentally, got in hot water several years ago when the Bombers caught a member of their organization videotaping their signals during a 2004 game at Ottawa's Frank Clair Stadium.

That, according to Gallant, crossed the line.

"The signals are the only thing to me that's cheating," said Gallant, who was with Ottawa in '04. "If I can have your signals and I know when you're going to be a zone or you're going to run the ball or you're going to run a screen, that's cheating."

Even the Tiger-Cats, who obviously weren't happy about the situation, admitted the Bombers wouldn't have learned much if Trentini had completed his mission.

"I don't know what those guys couldn't have seen on the film that they would expect this guy to see at a practice," GM Bob O'Billovich said. "So I'm just not worried about it a whole lot. We're just concentrating on winning a football game."

Bombers head coach Mike Kelly, who wouldn't address the issue with the media, informed his players prior to practice yesterday what had happened and that it was no big deal.

"He just said it was an issue that they weren't really aware of and they've got the situation under control and everything's been settled, so not to worry about it and just move on," quarterback Stefan LeFors said.

LATE HITS: Bombers running back Fred Reid and slotback Terrence Edwards were both back on the practice field yesterday and look healthy enough to play on Saturday.

kirk.penton@sunmedia.ca


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