|We know Clemson's Tajh Boyd is on Hamilton's neg list, but some think we should know every player on every team's neg list.|
This year had a little more interest for me, as a Tiger-Cat fan, because Hamilton's 2012 draft pick Courtney Stephen was playing for Northern Illinois in the Orange Bowl. It was kind of neat to know that a future Tiger-Cat was playing on one of the biggest stages in US college football, even if he didn't see the field a lot (I saw him a couple of times on special teams).
I know I'm not alone in my love of college football and Canadian football. There are others out there who love both games as well, and if Twitter is any indication, they wish they could experience what Tiger-Cat fans experienced with Stephen.
NCAA Bowl season would be a lot more fun for #CFL fans if negotiation lists were made available.While I don't disagree with this, I also don't agree with it either. It would be great to sit down and watch the Outback Bowl or the Chick-fil-A Bowl or Rose Bowl knowing which players might be headed to the CFL. But as we learned with the whole Tim Tebow stuff last month, knowing who's on a neg list isn't always a good thing.
— Jamie Nye (@jamienye) January 1, 2013
The secrecy of certain aspects of the CFL, like player salaries, is something that has been debated endlessly. Keeping neg lists private has been talked about in the past, but hasn't reached the level of discussion that the secrecy of player salaries.
I used to be among those that thought the league should just make neg lists public, but now I don't think it's necessary. And it was the Tebow stuff that made me realize it. Tebow was once on the Ti-Cats' neg list and that led to people like me talking about Tebow coming to the CFL. Then we found out Tebow was taken off Hamilton's list and put on Montreal's, and that, along with his play in New York with the Jets, led to another round of Tebow-to-the-CFL stuff (I won't link to it all, but just Google "Tim Tebow CFL" and you'll get plenty of results). A lot of time was spent discussing Tebow's CFL future and it was all a waste, especially after it was revealed that Tebow would never consider playing up here anyway.
And I suspect the same thing would happen if all neg lists were made public. We'd end up spending an inordinate amount of time talking about players that may never come to the CFL. Hamilton has already place Heisman trophy winner Johnny Manziel on their neg list and he's not eligible to leave Texas A&M until 2014 at the earliest. And he might be on their now, but could easily be taken off it tomorrow.
I understand fans wanting to know (fans want to know everything) and I understand members of the media wanting to know (they also want to know everything, but it's so they have stuff to talk/write about), but I don't think not knowing is a bad thing and it may even be a good thing. Not knowing might save us all the time of talking about some sophomore player at Temple who may never set foot in the CFL and hasn't even given a first thought, let alone a second one, to playing in Canada.
Those that want to see neg lists released usually say that they haven't seen any compelling evidence to not release them, but I counter by saying I haven't seen any compelling evidence to release them. I doubt either opinion will change; those entrenched on either side will stay right where they are. It doesn't look like the league will be changing their stance any time soon, so this probably won't be the last time this topic will be discussed.