Canadian Football League

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Canadian Football League player hung up at the border

Chris Cariou, The Winnipeg Free PressPublished: Wednesday, July 05, 2006
WINNIPEG - Kyries Hebert is hung up in Grand Forks, North Dakota, only 21/2 hours from Winnipeg, but perhaps farther away than ever from donning a Winnipeg Blue Bombers jersey.
Hebert, the highly sought-after linebacker/safety who initially refused to come to Winnipeg after being taken off the roster of the defunct Ottawa Renegades, was refused entry into Canada for the second time yesterday by Canada Customs officials at Emerson, Man. He had been rebuffed on Saturday as well.
"I can't say anything," Hebert said from Grand Forks via his cellphone. "I've been advised by my lawyer not to comment. I'm sorry."
Over the winter, Hebert was charged in a domestic abuse incident after he allegedly held his wife's head underwater while she was having a bath, threatening to kill her during an argument over a cellphone bill. His wife didn't want the case to go to trial and, after plea bargaining, the charges were reduced to misdemeanours. Hebert was fined $1,200 and court costs.
At the same time, Hebert rebuffed the Blue Bombers' interest and refused to report, saying he was a free agent and arguing he should be allowed to try out for an NFL job even though the Bombers had picked up the new contract he signed with the Renegades before they were folded by the Canadian Football League. He took the matter to arbitration, but then last week changed his mind and decided to report to Winnipeg.
He left his Houston home for Winnipeg last week, but now finds himself being put up in a Grand Forks hotel at the Bombers' expense.
"He's in Grand Forks right now, just waiting and biding his time, and, if we can get it worked out through the lawyers, we'll see where it goes," Bombers general manager Brendan Taman said. "They think he's a risk, that's all I know.
"Based on some people who have gotten into this country to work, I would hope it can get resolved," Taman added. "But I don't know. It's really out of our control. It's in the hands of the government's people that deal with that, and I can't say too much about it."
The Blue Bombers have an immigration lawyer, Ken Zaifman, working on the case.


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