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Wally Buono de-fangs web rumours on his future as Lions coach

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VANCOUVER — Insidious, anonymous, often unsubstantiated. The Internet is a great resource tool. But as B.C. Lions head coach and GM Wally Buono knows, it's also awash in misleading and distorted facts, half-truths or no-truths whatsoever.

Such was the situation Tuesday when rumours ranging from the sale of the team by owner David Braley, the trading of Geroy Simon, the retirement of Brent Johnson – and, most likely, according to Internet buzz, the relinquishing of the coaching reins by Buono – were spun into relevant topics of discussion on the web and through sports talk radio.

A totally contrived rumour by some Machiavellian blogger, Buono implied, when asked if he was stepping down as head coach of the 1-7 CFL team.

“I thought you were going to ask me about something of substance?” Buono said. “Why would I quit on a team I believe is going to turn things around? Turning my back on my players, on my people, is the opposite of everything I believe in. Me stepping down as coach? You know that's something I would never do.”

The Lions went about their usual business on the practice field Tuesday, with all hands on deck, present and accounted for. Buono remains the head coach, Jacques Chapdelaine is still the offensive coordinator and Casey Printers is the starting quarterback. The heavens were searched for some imminent sign of cataclysmic change, but all it did was rain.

“I used to think we lived in a glass house because we were involved in professional sports,” Buono says. “We still live in a glass house, but now we're naked. Everything that goes on is grist for the Internet. Anybody can get control of a website and put any unfounded rumour out there. Don't these people work for a living?”

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