Hamilton Tiger-Cats head coach Kent Austin has been suspended by the CFL for making contact with an official during Saturday’s loss in Regina.
Austin will be barred from the sidelines for Hamilton home game against Calgary Saturday. He will also pay a $10,000 fine.
The club released the following statement:
“As a result of his unintentional and accidental contact with an official during last week’s game in Saskatchewan, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats were informed on Wednesday that Head Coach Kent Austin will be removed from the sidelines for Saturday’s game against the Calgary Stampeders. Although we feel the punishment is unprecedented and harsh, we accept the league’s ruling on the matter and move forward as we continue to prepare for this weekend’s game at Tim Hortons Field.”
The Ticats’ head coach was penalized night after arguing a controversial call against the Tiger-Cats Saturday.
Centre Mike Filer was flagged after moving the ball forward before snapping it back.
Austin says he has apologized to the official, adding he has never seen that penalty call in all his years in football.
Canadian Football League commissioner Jeffrey Orridge says respect for officials is a basic tenet of sport.
“Their impartial participation makes fair competition possible. And their security is paramount. That is why it is absolutely unacceptable for a coach to confront an official and make contact with him, even if that contact was inadvertent and accidental.”
Orridge also says the penalty handed out to Austin is “unprecedented”.
“Our examination of this situation did not yield a comparable precedent on which to base a decision. That has highlighted for me the need to develop and announce a clear policy that makes crystal clear that there will be zero tolerance of physical contact with officials, whatever its nature, and immediate and serious penalties should such contact occur. That work is now underway.”
The 6-7 Tiger-Cats are in second place in the East Division standings; one point behind the Ottawa REDBLACKS.