Outgoing CFL commissioner Orridge will not be involved in draft

CFL Commissioner Jeffrey Orridge (John Woods/CP)

When each pick is made in Sunday’s CFL Draft, the commissioner of the league will not be the one announcing the selections.

Multiple league sources have told Sportsnet that Jeffrey Orridge will not be involved in the May 7 draft, even though the outgoing commissioner remains at the helm until June 30. A memo, distributed to all nine franchises Tuesday, informed the teams that Jim Lawson — the league’s board of governors chair — will open the draft and handle the duties.

It is custom in each of the major sports leagues for the commissioner to make the announcements of at least the first round of picks. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell did so last week in Philadelphia to a chorus of boos from the thousands who attended the proceedings. Lawson will announce picks from the first two rounds on the Canadian television broadcast.

Orridge’s ouster was officially announced on April 12, which strategically coincided with the start of the Stanley Cup playoffs to diminish negative news coverage. Sources have told Sportsnet that the CFL governors were at odds with the commissioner’s direction for months.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have the No. 1 pick in Sunday’s draft, acquired in a trade from Toronto last season.

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