It should be to no one’s surprise that Ticats head coach Kent Austin has been disciplined by the CFL for his actions in Regina last Saturday.
That’s unless you’re Kent Austin, who on Tuesday, said he did not expect to be suspended or fined for contacting an official while arguing a BS penalty call against his team.
Well, he was half right.
Austin has been fined $10,000, but instead of suspending him, the CFL has banished him from the sideline for this Saturday’s home game against Calgary.
However, he will be allowed in the spotter’s booth high above the action at Tim Hortons Field so he can watch his team tangle with the CFL’s elite unit.
It actually may be worse than a suspension because the instant something goes awry on Saturday against the Stampeders the TV cameras are going to focus in on Austin’s reaction upstairs.
It’s kinda like being tarred and feathered for all to see instead of being thrown in the slammer and out of sight, out of mind.
The league and the Ticats both call the discipline “unprecedented” but their interpretation of “unprecedented” is as different as you can get.
The CFL has set the bar for unintentionally striking an official at a sideline ban and a hefty fine.
The team calls the penalty levied against their top dog on the football side “harsh.”
I know the team is protecting one of their own, and that’s a stance it must take, but is the Tiger-Cat organization’s “harsh” response also a knock on the value and respect we should have for CFL officials?
Given the ruling, you’d be right to ask the same of Commissioner Jeffrey Orridge.
Saying that Austin didn’t mean to hit the official — there was no intent, it was an accident — sounds like an excuse someone with road rage would give after crashing into a traffic cop.
He may not have meant to do what he did but it’s still a serious infraction.
Kent Austin has to stand up, be accountable, and take his medicine.