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REPORTS IN OTTAWA HAVE COMSAT INTERESTED IN CFL ROUGH RIDERS
Published January 26, 1995
The CFL may have suffered a "setback" yesterday when Larry O'Brien, President of Calian Technology, informed CFL Chair John Tory he was not interested in gaining control of the Ottawa Rough Riders. But today's OTTAWA CITIZEN reports sources confirming that Calian's minority shareholder, COMSAT, owners of the NBA's Nuggets, may be interested in the Rough Riders. Tory hopes to have the sale of the Riders completed by February 15 to any group interested in keeping the team in Ottawa. But the team's heavy debt, as well as the lack of any CFL expansion revenues for an "unspecified period" has kept prospective buyers away. O'Brien would not specify why he "gave up on the Riders," but he viewed the team as a good business opportunity. O'Brien: "I realized owning a CFL team is not a part-time position. ... I realized we should not go forward." Tory stated he was "buoyed by the interest" of a U.S. based party who would keep the team in Ottawa. Sources later confirmed the party as COMSAT (Don Campbell, OTTAWA CITIZEN, 1/26). NEWS & NOTES: At the CFL league meetings in Edmonton, the league voted to retain its East-West Division format. Representatives for both the Rough Riders, and Las Vegas Posse failed to show up -- "It didn't look good for a league trying to get its house in order" (Kent Spencer, Vancouver PROVINCE, 1/26). The latest home for the Posse is reported to be Jackson, MS, with reports that two Mobile, AL, businessmen are ready to buy the team and move them to Jackson (Gary Kingston, VANCOUVER SUN, 1/26). Winnipeg GM/Coach Cal Murphy urged a "go slow" approach: "Baltimore, Birmingham, and Shreveport are pretty solid and I think Memphis will be solid as well. But it's important we go into the right markets" (Reg Curren, CP/Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 1/26).