Lyle Bauer sounded like a proud papa yesterday, even though his own future with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers could be in limbo.
The president and CEO has said all along that all he wants is for the Bombers to be a viable organization for years to come. The former offensive lineman has warned for years that the team would not survive without a new stadium.
Now that the club's board of directors has decided to negotiate with David Asper to build a new home for the Blue and Gold, Bauer's job could be eliminated since Asper wants complete ownership of the team.
"Any time you walk down a path such as this," Bauer said, "I guess there's the opportunity for the potential suitor to (choose) who they want." Bauer, who has an excellent relationship with Asper, is willing to put the future of the organization above his own interests.
"That component of it doesn't really matter," he said of his own future. "The objective is to get a new facility." Bauer hasn't even inquired about what would happen to his position if Asper were to assume control. "We'll fall where we fall when the time comes," he said.
As is the case in any business takeover, there are also the futures of the organization's 22 office employees to consider. Bauer met with them yesterday morning to inform them of the board's decision.
He said the staff's best interest will be taken into consideration during the club's negotiations with Asper.
"Regardless of what happens, it's incumbent upon the board and any potential new proponent, if that's the way they go, for very fair and equitable treatment of the staff," Bauer said. "I would think that would be a strong, guiding principle of the negotiations.
"... In any type of business you're going to have some concern. But the people that we have are dedicated enough, and I think they have a comfort that they will be treated fairly in the event there is an ultimate deal." The president and CEO said it's because of his hard-working employees that the team is in its current healthy state that makes it attractive for purchase.
"They deserve some recognition for what's happened, as do our fans and our sponsors," Bauer said. "They also recognize the absolute need for us to change, because we did move forward.
"We've come a long way in not that long a time, but they were there in the dark days. They do understand that that money could be gone in a hurry."
NEW BLOOD: The Bombers added safety Cam Hall and running back Fred Reid to their training camp roster yesterday.
The 6-foot-1, 220-pound Hall was a teammate of Bombers quarterback Ryan Dinwiddie at Boise State University, where he had 23 tackles, three tackles for a loss, a sack and two pass knockdowns in nine games for the Broncos in 2005.
Hall, 24, had a career-high 46 tackles in 2004.
Reid, a 5-foot-10, 190-pound Tampa native, also returned kicks in his four years at Mississippi State and had 44 receptions for 349 yards out of the backfield. The 25-year-old had 236 carries for 996 yards and six touchdowns on the ground during his collegiate career.
LATE HIT: Pitt quarterback Tyler Palko, whom Bombers GM Brendan Taman was going to pursue after he got passed over in the NFL draft, signed a free-agent contract with the New Orleans Saints yesterday.