CFL issues memo warning teams against signing former Riders’ DL Garrett Marino: report

Photo courtesy: Ryan Ballantine

CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie has issued a memo warning teams against signing former Saskatchewan Roughriders’ defensive lineman Garrett Marino, according to TSN’s Dave Naylor.

Hearing that a memo has gone-out from CFL commissioner @RandyAmbrosie regarding Garrett Marino, reminding teams that he can refuse to register any player contract for any reason deemed valid. Presumably the valid reason in this instance would be player safety.

The memo references the importance of the “safety and well-being of players,” which is something Marino disregarded at times during his tenure with Saskatchewan.

The six-foot-two, 290-pound defensive tackle was suspended for four games earlier this year after illegally hitting Ottawa Redblacks’ quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, uttering racial language at Masoli, and illegally hitting offensive lineman Dino Boyd. It was the longest suspension the CFL has ever imposed for in-game behaviour during a single contest.

“This behaviour has no place in our league,” said league commissioner Randy Ambrosie at the time. “This discipline is intended to send a strong message that it will not be tolerated.”

The team issued a written apology on Marino’s behalf and he apologized after returning from suspension ahead of Saskatchewan’s game against the B.C. Lions in Week 11. He also indicated that he would “love to” apologize to Jeremiah Masoli but admitted that he had not yet done so.

Marino promised to play smarter but was fined after the game for unnecessary roughness on offensive lineman Peter Godber. He also hit Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ quarterback Zach Collaros during Sunday’s Labour Day Classic after he had already gotten rid of the football.

Video of the hit has since garnered close to 160,000 views on Twitter, drawing a mixture of praise and criticism from former players on social media. Marino was not penalized during the game.

Marino recorded nine defensive tackles and one sack over eight games with Saskatchewan this season and, while he’s technically a free agent, it appears he may have played the final game of his CFL career.