Bombers were aware of Cummings investigation in 2016, informed CFL

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers say they were aware of a police investigation into then-Bomber Euclid Cummings after an incident in Vancouver in 2016 and informed the league it was underway.

Euclid Cummings, the former B.C. Lion defensive tackle who had his contract voided by the CFL on Wednesday, has been charged with four criminal counts, including sexual assault, stemming from incidents in Vancouver on Oct. 16, 2016. The Bombers played a regular season game at B.C. Place on Oct. 14, 2016.

Cummings was charged on April 27, 2017 with sexual assault, assault and uttering threats.

The Bombers say they were contacted by Vancouver police about the incident that ultimately led to the charges and passed that information onto the league.

“In November of 2016, we were notified by the Vancouver Police about a matter involving one of our then-players. Though charges had not been laid, we immediately informed the CFL,” the team said in a statement issued to 3DownNation. “As you know, this matter is now before the courts so we have nothing further to add except to say that this individual’s contract expired at the end of the 2016 season and was not renewed.”

Edmonton subsequently signed Cummings on Feb. 27, 2017, two months before he was charged by police. He played in 16 regular season games for the Eskimos last season making 21 tackles and registering eight sacks.

The Eskimos say they weren’t aware of the incident or the charges before he was signed or while he was a member of the team.

“We were unaware of the charges and will not comment further as the matter is before the courts,” the team said in a statement.

Ed Hervey was the general manager in Edmonton when the Eskimos signed Cummings but was fired on April 7, three weeks before he was charged. He is currently the general manager with the  Lions and issued a statement on Wednesday’s after the league announced its decision to void the contract signed last month.

“We were given no indication by the player or his representation that these charges existed,” Hervey said in a statement. “I assure our fans, partners and supporters of the CFL across Canada, that we would not have offered him a contract had we known about this situation.”

However, the timeline raises questions as to why the CFL allowed Cummings to play in 2017 if they knew he was under investigation and particularly after charges were laid.

Former CFL commissioner Jeffery Orridge announced he was stepping down on April 12, just over two weeks before charges against Cummings were laid. Randy Ambrosie, who has taken a tougher stance on issues of domestic violence in his first year on the job, was named as his replacement on July 5, shortly after the season began.

A message left with the league wasn’t immediately returned.

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.
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Drew Edwards
About Drew Edwards (1358 Articles)
Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.

25 Comments on Bombers were aware of Cummings investigation in 2016, informed CFL

  1. B.C. Dave // March 7, 2018 at 9:09 pm //

    All the more reason that we should not have to take the cap hit IF cummings was even paid the bonus. If the league tries to enforce it, I hope we fight it. THEY voided the contract so WE should not take the hit, especially knowing that we signed him in good faith.

    • I agree Dave. Sounds like the ball was dropped at some point from the time Winnipeg was notified, and when they notified the league.

    • Cal Gary Shampeders // March 8, 2018 at 8:35 am //

      You sure have changed your tune from yesterday. But I’m still waiting for some sympathy for the victim from you. You seem to *only* care about BC’s cap situation. Pathetic.

      Congrats to Cummings for getting a $70k signing bonus. That will help with his defense.

  2. Great update, Drew. It sounds like the league looks bad here. Someone pointed out Hervey signed Cummings twice since the arrest, but both the Eskimos and Lions claim they knew nothing. Hervey was fired by Edmonton 20 days before the charges were officially filed.

    Something doesn’t add up here.

  3. Regardless of what the CFL commissioner was aware of, the real question is why Wally & Ed Hervey are lacking due diligence in player character before offering contracts(especially a large one and with a signing bonus). I thought Wally had higher standards in this regard… guess I was wrong.

    • Uhhh…the league let him play all of last year after Hervey was fired and after charges were filed.

    • B.C. Dave // March 8, 2018 at 12:39 am //

      That’s a load of crap. We had Yonus Davis a a kick returner. Scored a TD returning a kick in his fort game aghast the eskimos. He was instant field position. Got caught with ecstasy and Wally released him.

  4. bull s&*t. if the bombers knew in nov 16, hervey and the esks knew in early 17 at the latest

    • B.C. Dave // March 8, 2018 at 12:25 am //

      Keep in mind when the Vancouver Police talked to the Bombers, they were just investigating and no charges had been laid. Looks like no one bothered following up in 2017. The league should have follow up then, not left it til now.

  5. Sounds like a he said, they said, we said but really nobody said anything about the matter????? Another 3 ring circus in the Crazy Football League.

  6. IMO, if the contract is voided, that should mean the entirety of the contract. That includes any bonus money.

  7. oceanvista // March 7, 2018 at 10:38 pm //

    Maybe I am biased (full disclosure: Lions fan here), but the league owns this one and any monies paid should not go against the cap. Head office was informed (the Bombers did the right thing and reported it) and it is the league’s duty to inform.

    What did Ed know? Who’s to say? It is highly doubtful he would have signed a guy with all those charges before the court. That just doesn’t make sense.

    • B.C. Dave // March 8, 2018 at 12:29 am //

      I agree. I may be accuse of the same biases lol, but why would Hervey sign a guy knowing he might lose his partway thru the season. Even if knew the trial was late October, guess what is just around the corner (tiny hint…PLAYOFFS). I have also heard from eskimo friends that Hervey recruits class & character as much as he recruits talent.

  8. Jose Perez // March 7, 2018 at 10:40 pm //

    Someone snitched on Ed to the commissioner either Esk or Winn. Specially because these two teams know the organization here is against violence to women. This was done on purpose. Either way he probably won’t get a permit to play or visa into Canada. Only for court purposes. If he isn’t guilty still I don’t feel he’ll play for Lions but another won’t care and pick him up in a heart beat. Yet we paid bonus which is bogus yet we have to take the heat. Shady doings and going ons.

    • BlueBomberChris // March 7, 2018 at 11:04 pm //

      You’re right Winnipeg did “snitch” on Ed when they reported it to the league back in Nov 2016…you know about 4 months before Ed himself signed him for the Esks in Feb 2017.

  9. Edward Leslie // March 7, 2018 at 11:48 pm //

    It seems very odd timing that both Commissioner Jeffrey Orridge AND Ed Hervey lost their jobs around the same time after “the Euclid Cummings incident”. Its almost like it might have had something to do with their dismissals. However in Hervey’s case, if he knew in Edmonton, why in the world would he go and sign Cummings in B.C.?
    Poor Randy Ambrosie only joined the CFL as Commissioner in mid season, well under one year ago. He at least has plausible deniability here.
    We might need Columbo to investigate this mess!
    In the next CBA, Ambrosie needs to demand a “morals clause” to avoid future scandal.

  10. We are to hard on our league. This stuff is so normal in NFL barely makes papers. He is gone now and that is the right choice. Elliott for Dallas kept playing last yr after appeal after appeal. What was next kangaroo court.

    • Cal Gary Shampeders // March 8, 2018 at 8:40 am //

      Barely makes papers? Are you high? This is sexual assault! It more than makes the papers down here. And Elliott played because the courts kept deciding to let him until they didn’t. The NFL had decided to suspend him.

      Pay attention if you’re going to comment. And no. A league that welcomes Art Briles and tried to welcome Johnny Headcase deserves harsh treatment.

  11. I’m very curious to know when in November 2016 the VPD informed the Bombers of the investigation. I really hope the Bombers wouldn’t have allowed Cummings to play in the 2016 Western semi-final if they knew about the investigation and what exactly he was being investigated for.

    • Evan – How could the Bombers NOT let him play? This was AN INVESTIGATION, no charges had been laid, AND they informed the league immediately.
      To ban him from playing (doing his job that he is under contract to perform)before any charges are laid, would be illegal.

      • Ah, no. If they knew before the WSF that he was being investigated for some pretty serious crimes and put winning that football game above doing the right thing, thats pretty scummy.

      • Fan in the stands // March 8, 2018 at 2:45 pm //

        Right on C!!! What all these Bomber haters have a hard time sinking in, is it was the Bombers that informed the CFL of the matter. Character wise, the Bombers didn’t resign him. What the CFL did, or did not do (based on what they legally could do or not do at the time), should be the real focus here. Also, not really buying into Ed Hervey’s plausible deniability on the matter. But, as someone mentioned above, why would Ed sign trouble on purpose, and bring Cummings to BC, which would end up costing him money?

  12. Margaret Marshall // March 9, 2018 at 11:54 am //

    The Bombers and league needed to observe the legalities of the situation and couldn’t act till charges were laid. I suspect that most teams expect some youthful hijinks at times from young players. Weed issues included. However most people don’t consider serious criminal behaviour as a go to first place. CFL fans want and need our league to have a great sports experience free of the issues that endanger our society. I think most of our comments here reflect an outrage that someone hurt people outside the sports experience then brought it inside. Fans and other players and teams are all unnerved by the intrusion of one of societies darker concerns.

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