Who will take responsibility?

PAUL FRIESEN -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 7:49 AM ET

A Winnipeg Blue Bomber board member goes off on a player and the head coach after a game.

He gets so out of hand, players try to force him out of the locker-room, and he's finally escorted out by CEO Lyle Bauer.

The board member, a past chairman, no less, then resigns his position on the board, but says it's for other reasons.

And the organization's brass backs him up, pretending nothing ever happened.

How do you like your community-owned football team today, Winnipeg?

You think they're bad on the field?

In the accountability department, they're worse.

David Asper's Saturday night temper tantrum, and resultant silence from the Bomber brass, is something anyone who cares about this football team should be paying attention to.

DISTURBING

Bauer can try to dismiss it as a minor disagreement during an emotional time, but in reality it's a disturbing indication that the old boy's club that existed before this team last accepted a public bailout is still hanging around.

Meddling board members who thought they knew about football helped drag this franchise to the brink of extinction five years ago.

But all that was supposed to have changed when the city and province appointed a sleek, new board of governors to oversee the CEO. Bauer would be in charge of all football and business matters, while board members would have to approve major decisions, like budgets and coaching changes.

Otherwise, they were to be hands-off.

So what does Asper do during and after a 19-17 loss to Saskatchewan that virtually eliminates the Bombers from the CFL playoff picture?

He berates head coach Jim Daley -- from directly behind the Bomber bench during the second half, then from just a few inches away from Daley's face after the final gun.

As if that wasn't enough, he goes into the locker-room, a sanctuary for players and coaches, and continues to question the coach. This, after he'd already been in linebacker Lamar McGriggs' face.

Good on players like Wade Miller, who tried to push him out the door.

Bad on Bauer, for not denouncing Asper's actions as unprofessional and unacceptable.

"There are discussions and communications that happen at many levels in organizations, and many of those are private," were Bauer's first words to me about the incident yesterday. "And that's where they'll remain."

Bad on chairman of the board Ken Hildahl, who in one breath says he'll have to wait for a full report on the incident, in the next says he hasn't even asked for one.

"I wasn't there for any kind of incident," Hildahl said. "David submitted his resignation to me for personal reasons, and I accepted it. You'll have to talk to David about (the incident). That's one we're leaving to David."

NOT ADMITTING

Last, but certainly not least, bad on Asper for not even admitting he did anything wrong.

"I'm not going to comment on it," he said, ad nauseam.

No mention of making a mistake. No apology for being a disruption to a once-proud franchise trying to regain its credibility. Not even a hint of taking responsibility for his actions.

How's that for setting an example, by a supposed community leader, no less?

What's worse, the Bombers, specifically Bauer and Hildahl, don't believe they owe you, the public, an explanation.

And they obviously don't believe they need to demonstrate, openly, that they've learned from past mistakes, that things are different.

Could it be because Asper and his family-owned company, CanWest Global, are huge sponsors of the team?

"Money talks," one observer told me yesterday.

Apparently, it does.

But only when it wants to.


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