Blue Bomber Report Record: 6–6–0

Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Expect LaPo to deny losing locker-room

Fired coach slated to address media today

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Ousted Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach Paul LaPolice is expected to make his first comments to the media today since he was sacked by Bombers GM Joe Mack on Saturday.

Team spokesman Darren Cameron said Sunday he anticipated LaPolice would do an availability of some kind today.

If LaPolice's comments on Twitter are any indication, expect the former head coach to take the high road today but also defend himself, in particular against accusations from Mack that he had "lost the room."

There's perhaps no more damning insult for a head coach than the allegation that he had lost the confidence of and authority over his players and LaPolice's Twitter comments suggest he takes particular umbrage with the suggestion exactly that had happened to him.

LaPolice sent this Tweet out from his personal Twitter account late Saturday night:

"Why i love coaching! A note from a player tonight. Coach, I know there's not much I can say to make this situation any better but I felt like you need to know a few things. I've been reading and hearing that you had lost the locker room. I cannot stress this enough how that is NOT the case. We were and still our behind you 100 percent. Every one I have talked to is for a loss of words"

Conspicuously, LaPolice does not identify the player who he says sent him the note.

Earlier Saturday, LaPolice sent out these three tweets in succession:

"Thks to everyone for the show of support. Although I 110% disagree with the decision today, I have loved every minute of being HC of Bombers."

"Last nights effort did not reflect a team that didn't believe in the coach and players that have reached out to me disagree with that view."

"Thanks to everyone and although not perfect I am proud of our Eastern championship, grey cup appearance and think the future can be bright."

Meanwhile, former Bombers centre Obby Khan -- who was turfed himself in the off-season after he fell out of favour with LaPolice -- told Calgary Herald reporter Allen Cameron Saturday night that he had mixed feelings about LaPolice's firing.

Here's what Khan told Cameron:

"My gut reaction? Well, I think it's only human nature to have the gut reaction I had, that I think anybody would have if they were let go by their previous employment. In any field, if you're let go by an employer when you think you shouldn't have been and you can still contribute, and then you hear that that employer has been relieved of their position, you'd have the same gut reaction I had. You can interpret that any way you want. But it's human nature. Everyone would feel that way...

"Thinking about it afterwards and talking to some friends, I do feel bad for Coach LaPolice. I think he did some things that were really good for that organization, and I think he made some mistakes along the way as well. But you do feel bad because you never want to see anyone go through a rough period and lose their job."

Khan is playing with the Stampeders these days after getting picked up a few weeks ago.

paul.wiecek@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 27, 2012 C2

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