Ticats support Will Hill in wake of suspension

Kent Austin says Will Hill is sorry.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats vice president of football operations and head coach stood up for his player on Tuesday after CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie suspended the defensive back one game for grabbing an official during last Saturday’s loss in Regina.

“Will’s been a great teammate. Will made a mistake,” Austin said. “There’s no excuse for that level of behaviour. When you’re in the wrong, it’s important that you demonstrate maturity in the form of humility and contrition. That demonstrates that you get it and that you know have the chance to change any behaviour that needs to be changed.”

Hill wasn’t at practice on Tuesday and was unavailable to media due to what the team said was a family matter unrelated to the suspension.

The suspension is effective immediately, meaning Hill will miss Hamilton’s home opener Saturday against the B.C. Lions unless he decides to appeal. If Hill chooses to do so, he’d be able to continue playing unless the ruling was upheld by an independent arbitrator.

Austin said he didn’t know if Hill planned to appeal and CFL Players’ Association representatives were unavailable for comment. Ambrosie also fined Hill an unspecified amount for punching a Saskatchewan player on the same play.

The ruling was issued quickly and Austin said he appreciated how Ambrosie, who played nine years in the CFL, handled his first major test.

“I have great respect for the new commissioner and the fact that he’s played the game,” Austin said. “We respect the league’s decision.”

Reaction across the league was decidedly mixed, however, with many feeling that Hill got off light. But Ambrosie may have been concerned that a harsher punishment would have been struck down by an arbitrator after former commissioner Jeffery Orridge failed to suspend Austin for making contact with an official during a game in Regina last September.

Instead, Orridge fined Austin $10,000 and banished him to the spotter’s booth for one game.

In a statement issued Tuesday, Ambrosie said he’s committed to developing a policy that would set standards to protect officials and outline punishments for infractions. Austin, who is a member of the league’s rules committee, said that would eliminate some of the guesswork that plagues the current system.

“We can do a better job at bringing more definitive process and construct around certain violations as opposed to it always being an ambiguous application of a penalty that doesn’t have any established precedent — because the precedents have been all over the place — that can be vetted by the operators of the league,” Austin said. “Bringing more form and definitive penalty to very black-and-white issues would be very beneficial to the league.”

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards

Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.
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Drew Edwards
About Drew Edwards (1168 Articles)
Drew Edwards is into his eighth season covering the CFL and the Ticats for the Hamilton Spectator. He is the founder and editor of 3DownNation.

15 Comments on Ticats support Will Hill in wake of suspension

  1. I’m satisfied

  2. It’s a done deal. Maybe he will think next time

  3. Will should let it go. Serve his sentence per say and get over the Hill to help his team the rest of the season.

  4. Riders13 // July 12, 2017 at 10:37 am //

    I was originally in favor of a harsher penalty but with a lack of a clear policy the one game seems fair in light of Austin’s “sentence” last year. The new commissioner seems to “get it” and it’s encouraging that there will be a definitive policy developed to deal with such incidents in the future. Time to move on and enjoy some football!

  5. Difficult to say how fair the monetary penalty is when the amount is not disclosed but the amount would likely seem paltry as the play may be playing for the league minimum – not a lot of money compared to other professional sports.

  6. While I agree the commish might have been concerned about Austin’s punishment – the more clear cut case for me is Hervey.

    I don’t see how an arbiter can rule that grabbing an official then letting them go quickly is worth more that hitting an official in the head with a helmet by accident.

    Either way – with two examples of a similar punishment, until the framework is changed, like it or not, one game seems a reasonable punishment.

  7. Armpit Of Ontario // July 12, 2017 at 3:35 pm //

    Not surprising, a classless coach supporting a low class player that plays in a low class city.

  8. Han Jobbe // July 12, 2017 at 5:09 pm //

    The TiCats should just release Will Hill. He certainly exemplifies a persona that is not welcome in the CFL. Last thing we need is another gang banger trying to play ball here: we don’t need that kind here. And dude, pop that zit above your eye.

  9. Paul Smith // July 12, 2017 at 5:21 pm //

    Will Hill has been our best player on either side of the ball this year. The Cats are not in a position to release him.

  10. Paul Smith // July 12, 2017 at 5:23 pm //

    “And dude, pop that zit above your eye”.

    Hey tough guy, deliver that message to him personally.

  11. David Rouleau // July 12, 2017 at 5:32 pm //

    He’s been sent a message. Now it’s time to move on.

  12. Whether instigated or justified… Hill’s actions were totally unacceptable… pretty simple rule in all sports at every level… “Thou shalt not touch or verbally abuse the ref.”

    Austin’s comments and Ambrosie’s quick handling of this event were very professional and now the matter is over and done… time to move on.

    Think 3D Nation needs exterminators to rid this blog of the trolls who keep popping up with the most juvenile and asinine comments…

  13. The Vampiro // July 12, 2017 at 9:05 pm //

    Snake, while I don’t necessarily disagree with your sentiments, who made you the moral authority around here. I’m a season ticket holder clown, perhaps we should meet for a brew at the game and discuss your authoritarian ways. Just sayin’ bozo …

    • Who made him the moral authority?? Probably the same guy that voted you “hypocrite of the year”…moron

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