Eskimos turf general manager Ed Hervey after 5 seasons

1 / 2
Eskimos turf general manager Ed Hervey after 5 seasons

Ed Hervey has been fired as vice-president of football operations and general manager with the Edmonton Eskimos.

Team president and CEO Len Rhodes confirmed the news Friday, citing contract differences and lack of media access. Under Hervey, media had limited access to players.

"Ed, as an individual, is a great person," Rhodes told reporters Friday, "It's about philosophies.

"It was viewed as being at an impasse." 

In his five years as GM and later VP of football operations, Hervey restricted media access, Rhodes said. He said Hervey believed media access was a distraction for his players. 

The Eskimos found themselves in a controversy last season, when coach Jason Maas and quarterback Mike Reilly refused to wear live microphones for a television broadcast. The live microphones were part of a league-wide decision to allow fans to hear interactions between coaches and quarterbacks.

The team was fined $20,000 for not wearing the microphones, and Maas was fined $15,000. The Eskimos wore the microphones the next game.

"We are not going to make a mockery of the live mic. We are going to proceed because we want it out of the way. We want to eliminate the distraction," Hervey said at the time.

Rhodes said he disagreed with Hervey's position that media access is a distraction.

"In recent conversations, he said he thought about it, but decided to keep it status quo," Rhodes said. 

But for Rhodes, the status quo wasn't good enough.

Don't fix what's not broken

Rhodes sung praises for Hervey, who was part of the 2015 Eskimos team that won the Grey Cup.

Rhodes called Hervey one of the best GMs in the business, and reiterated the decision was mostly because of lack of access to the team.

Rhodes couldn't provide a timeline for when the Eskimos plan to hire a replacement for Hervey, but said the club plans to take its time finding one. The search will begin immediately and Rhodes said he hopes to find a replacement by the start of the season.

Though fielding a good football team is the most important aspect for Rhodes and management, he said he will make sure the next GM makes the team more accessible to the media and to corporate sponsorships.

He also said Maas will remain as the team's head coach. 

"A new general manager isn't coming in to fix what's not broken," Rhodes said.