Forrest is stumped

Potential Renegades owner Lonie Glieberman (right) and former CFL coach Forrest Gregg were in...

Potential Renegades owner Lonie Glieberman (right) and former CFL coach Forrest Gregg were in Ottawa Tuesday to meet with team officials. (Ottawa Sun/Jason Ransom)

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 7:44 AM ET

He's a Hall of Fame offensive lineman who's been voted one of the top 100 players to ever suit up in the NFL, a two-time NFL coach of the year, a former college athletic director and the ex-coach of two CFL teams.

And in the 11 years since the demise of the U.S. expansion experiment, he has been a trusted employee of Bernie Glieberman's in various, non-football-related businesses.

"I've done a little bit of everything," chuckled Forrest Gregg, who most recently has been a part of the management team for the Gliebermans' upper peninsula Michigan ski resorts. "I'll do whatever I'm asked, if I think I can help out. And if I don't think I can, I'll tell them."

The one thing he won't be asked to do if Bernie Glieberman and his son Lonie succeed with their bid to purchase majority shares in the Renegades is to replace Joe Paopao as coach and GM of the team, however.

"It's still very much a 'what if' deal, but if we do buy the team, Joe (Paopao) will continue to be the head coach," Lonie Glieberman said yesterday, shooting down published speculation to the contrary. "There will be no changes to his title."

VP OF OPERATIONS

Gregg would likely serve as the team's VP of football operations, however, with the possibility that some type of managerial or personnel offer could also be made to Eric Tillman, who shares a mutual respect with the Gliebermans. It's believed Tillman has an offer to return to the broadcasting business, as well.

"Forrest's track record speaks for itself," said Glieberman. "I've had a great working relationship with him the last 11 years, he has tremendous integrity and he knows our system. He has an understanding what Joe and his staff have to go through, and at the same time he knows what the business side has to do. I'd say there are very few guys who have been on both sides of the fence."

But because he is 71 years of age and more than a decade removed from the CFL, there would be plenty of criticism levelled at the Gliebermans for putting Gregg in charge.

TRYING TO BUY 51% INTEREST

"I don't really care," said Gregg. "Criticism sure doesn't bother me. I've had plenty of it in my lifetime. People have a right to think what they want. Personally, I feel I have a pretty good concept of what's going on. We've kept up with it over the years."

The Gliebermans are attempting to work out a deal that would see them buy 51% of the team, negotiations that are expected to pick up steam if and when Randy Gillies finalizes the sale of his shares.

Yesterday, the knight in shining armour (Lonie) rode to Frank Clair Stadium on his bike from a downtown hotel to do what he called "due diligence." He spent most of the day poring over the books with CEO John Lisowski, and also had a 45-minute meeting with Paopao.

"Everyone was very helpful," said Glieberman, who will be back at the team's front office today. "I learned a lot.

"It's a long, tedious process, but you've got to work at it to see if (a deal) makes sense for both sides. It's like a marriage ... before you get married you go on a few dates."

WRIGHT DENIES REPORT

Meanwhile, CFL commissioner Tom Wright also denied a published report that he is opposed to the Gliebermans buying into the Renegades.

"I have made no comments, nor would I, on any individual or group that could be a potential partner in a CFL team," Wright said. "I'd only comment when a deal happens, not on speculation."

Asked to confirm that he has had conversations with Bernie Glieberman, Wright added: "I've spoken to a whole bunch of people, yes.

"I have been involved (in trying to find investors) ... and I'm obviously committed to finding the right solution. The CFL is committed to keeping football in Ottawa."


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