I’m not sure anyone was going to be happy with what Kent Austin got for the slap chop on a sideline official last weekend. Anything short of a suspension….too lenient…suspension….too harsh….I’m leaning towards lenient as I think Austin at least deserved to be thrown out of the game for the contact, inadvertent or not.
The only people really penalized by having Austin banished to the coach’s booth are the TSN production staff, deprived of head-exploding response shots to things that don’t go the TI-Cats way. CFL Commissioner Jeffrey Orridge had an interesting statement as he announced the punishment, saying he’d looked for a precedent, and couldn’t find one. Guess that speaks well of the restraint among CFL head coaches all these years. Orridge, correctly, did point out that this cases underscores the need for a policy to cover these cases, so cue the rules committee for the off season.
There’s only one group of people that needs to be happy with the way this was handled, and that’s CFL officials, and apparently, they’ve signed off on it. Spares us the embarrassment of ’88 NHL style replacement officials after the league botched the ‘Have another dougnut mess’.