CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie has had conversations with the NFL about how each league is working through the COVID-19 crisis.
The Canadian pro season has been pushed back, according to Ambrosie: the 2020 CFL season won’t start before the beginning of July. The NFL schedule doesn’t start until September, but pro days, scouting, off-season practices and programs have been affected south of the border.
“We’ve been in touch with a lot of the leagues through the crisis. I had a conversation with the NFL last week. Just talking about what they’re seeing and hearing,” Ambrosie said on Sirius XM radio, Canada Now with Jeff Sammut.
“We have a tremendous relationship with the NFL as far as the medical side of our business and we do a lot of consultation with them, we share ideas. We are talking with them.”
Both the NFL and CFL are proceeding with their respective drafts as planned. The NFL’s scheduled for April 23-25 and the CFL’s April 30. Each event will happen virtually and remotely, shared ideas have helped the talent grabs go ahead.
“We are all on different timelines in our respective calendars,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said in a statement to the Tribune-Review, “but we have been monitoring developments in the CFL and other sports.”
“We are talking to the other leagues, really trying to get a sense of what they’re thinking and what they’re working on. We’re all trying to collaborate and help one another to the best of our ability,” Ambrosie said.
The league office and players are communicating while contingency planning. Ambrosie has become less hardened on the currently scheduled date for Grey Cup 2020, November 22 in Regina. Ambrosie admitted the coronavirus is in charge right now, but wouldn’t specify if there was a drop dead date for any type of CFL season to happen.
“We’re not thinking about it that way, I know there’s a natural instinct. We are looking at various, very creative scheduling scenarios. We’re not boxing ourselves in with any particular idea,” Ambrosie said.
“We want to play if we can. You can’t rule anything out, you’ve gotta consider all the options, you’ve gotta keep an open mind. But of course you do know that at some point you may just run out of runway.”