Saskatchewan Roughriders head coach and general manager Chris Jones said he accepts the fine his team received from the CFL for a roster violation, but he hopes the league is equally as vigilant when dealing with other teams.
The Roughriders were fined $60,000 on Thursday after the Canadian Football League completed an investigation into alleged roster violations.
Saskatchewan also had its 2016 salary cap deducted in excess of $26,000 as part of the penalty.
“I accept the league’s decision and am aware of the errors,” Jones read from a statement Friday. “We have made the necessary adjustments and will be moving forward accordingly.
“I’m here to talk about the Saskatchewan Roughriders, but I hope the other eight teams are held in the same regard and to the same standard.”
The Roughriders were in violation of policies which prohibit practising with ineligible players, players participating in practice who are on the six-game injured list and having free agents practice with players who are under contact, according to a release.
“I am compelled to make decisions consistent with protecting the competitive balance within our league, the spirit of our rules and the integrity of our game,” said commissioner Jeffrey Orridge.
“The recent conduct, behaviour and activities of the Saskatchewan Roughriders have compromised the reputation of the CFL.”
The Roughriders’ president and CEO, Craig Reynolds, cut his vacation short in order to address the media in relation to the fine.
“This is 100 percent on us.”
“We as an organization, we made some mistakes. We understand what those are and we’ve put measures in place where we’re not going to make those mistakes again,” Reynolds said.
The CFL said their investigation spanned several weeks and included the league visiting team practices in Regina.
“After getting clarity from the league, we will continue to bring in players, many of which are Canadian, on an evaluation basis,” Jones said, declining to answer reporters’ questions on the matter after reading the statement.
Warren Woods, longtime Regina sports commentator and contributor to CJME’s The Green Zone program, said while the organization is wealthy enough to pay the fine with little consequence, saving the team’s reputation may prove more difficult.
The Riders were fined earlier this season for violating the ratio rules for Canadian and American born players dressed for a game.
Saskatchewan has struggled under new head coach and general manager Chris Jones, going 1-5 so far this year.
The Riders sit in last place in the CFL’s West Division.
The Roughriders are back in action Saturday when they take on the Calgary Stampeders. Kickoff is at 5 p.m. CT at Regina’s Mosaic Stadium.
With files from Global News