Ticats’ owner Bob Young voices support for Kent Austin in wake of player complaints

Hamilton Tiger-Cats owner Bob Young took to Twitter to voice his support for vice president of football operations Kent Austin in the wake of player complaints.

Several players raised concerns about Austin’s coaching, personnel decisions and management style in a story published Monday. Young responded on social media with a series of Tweets that criticized the story – as well as the Ticat players quoted – and called Austin “arguably most successful head coach in CFL history.”

Austin addressed the concerns in a press conference earlier on Monday.

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 (1161 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.

58 Comments on Ticats’ owner Bob Young voices support for Kent Austin in wake of player complaints

  1. This stuff does not happen for no reason, if it is coming to the surface then something is up. 0-8. And if keeping him costs us good players and a great coach, then there will be big trouble in Hamilton.

    • Kent Austin returning, whatever, I just dont understand were the money comes from? Assuming Austin would not stay on for 80,000 a year, he is NOT GM, he is not HC, can they afford HC, GM and Austin? Not even sure what Austin would do, I guess Player Personnel something like that. Just not sure why we need him? I have no problem with Bob keeping him on in some role, I just always thought money was tight in CFL franchises, Salary cap as well

    • Now I know why the store was out of kleenex! Holy Mac N Aw, everyone whinning!
      Without Bob we would not even have this blog! Nevermind the Cats in Hamilton. How soon we forget! Austin obviously lost the locker room, which happens everytime there is a coach change! Part of coaching, no? Yet we forget he did bring us out of the looser’s shack to as close to bliss as anyone since the great ‘Lil General!
      On the point that fans love a winner, it seems that teams always have a drop in attendance after winning the cup. I don’t know that to be factual, but I recall it happening here, in 2000
      Back to the current, in our last game, our team ended with an exciting, skunk!! victory and we should all therefore be happy until our next game! – all winter! So lets quit complaining! Even the refs became fair (because the conspiracy was spread over the internet, so they had to hide it!, now I’m complaining, but not about our CATS!
      2018: Will Be The Year of the CATS!!!

  2. Noooooooooooo!
    Last thing I wanted to hear was KA was staying. I have no issue with him per se.

    But 0-8 and with little or no effort would be indication enough that changes were not only beneficial, but necessary.

    Condell and Steinhauer left in seemingly odd ways.

    And then a new coach comes in and has immediate successes.

    Austin has been great. But changes are inevitable in every sport and at every position.

    I really enjoyed watching the team in the second half of the season. A return to the status quo means I will support them from afar. As the owner, Bob Young needs to investigate this further and act accordingly.

    • What is he bar for a Great coach in Hamilton.June Junes proved that the Cats were a much better team than Montreal.Are the fans setting the success bar low for Jones but Grey Cup high for Austin.Austin has all control and therefore has to take the credit for the success of Jones.

      Just a few thoughts.

  3. I for one am tired of losing seasons ….at our best….we get to 500 football…..and we almost throw a parade…….can we never dominate with over 12 wins ….not many of those since 1950……I want a streak of those good seasons like other teams have had Mtl, EDM…Cal…..getting to the cup in the weak east just masks the pain of never dominating

  4. Conan the Librarian // November 6, 2017 at 12:54 pm //

    Sorry Bob, but as an owner who self-describes himself as the “hands off” type, how do you know that these complaints aren’t justified? It could be that players such as Chick & Gable tried to go to Austin directly & were shipped out of town because of it. Maybe, as the “caretaker”, it behooves you to really look into these allegations rather than brushing them off as “cowardly”. After all, Austin has hit refs, bumped opposing players, had penalties called against him, been hit with lawsuits by a previous employer and acted unprofessionally in post game media interviews. And that doesn’t even mention how drastically the team’s fortunes did a 180 after Austin was removed from the sidelines.

    I get that you like Kent Austin. I did too, before all of the above. There’s just simply too much smoke floating around not to suspect that there’s a fire.

  5. “With exception of last year or so, Kent Austin was arguably most successful HC, in @CFL history. Good coach, better person.”

    Lol!! Campbell went to two Grey Cups the last two seasons and won one of them. Never mind Trestman’s record. By the standard set by Young himself, Austin isn’t even the best coach in the East TODAY, let alone all of CFL history. It’s nice that you want to support your guys but let’s stay within reality, please.

  6. TwoTurnTablesandaMicrophone // November 6, 2017 at 1:14 pm //

    Bob Young stating “A cowardly Ticat player, maybe two, complain anonymously to a naive journalist about a former coach”. This is a loaded statement. Cowardly players? Naive journalists? Austin certainly had success in the past but his leadership completely crumbled this year. Any other organization would show someone like this the door. Could be cowardly of Young not to make a real decision to get this done. Naive? Journalists are there to report stories and provide info for the fans, no matter what kind of story it is. Journalists are professionals that are paid to publish information, good/bad/or otherwise. I guess he is saying that only positive beautiful information should be reported? Perhaps Mr Young is out of touch with reality.

  7. Mr. Young, with all due respect, take off the blunders. We know you and Austin signed the big and long contract. So financially you’re kind of stuck with a mediocre HC IMO. Two Grey Cups? It was Speedy B that took you to the G.C. and almost won it. Austin is under .500 as H.C. So how is he the “best”? Naive reporters? Why because they speak and relay the truth to the fans? Look at you’re attendance this year, I was at last game, and it was embarrassing to be a Ti-Cat fan. Changes are needed, get with the times, are you the naive one? It sure looks and sounds like it, because you don’t listen to the people who are paying for you’re disgruntled players. And if Austin stays, you won’t have much of a fan base in 2018 either. We want Changes The sooner the better, and without Kent Austin. How many good coaches and players have we lost? Think about it please!

    • Sea of Dead // November 6, 2017 at 8:48 pm //

      Couldn’t have said it better. The Caretaker’s comments were absolutely ridiculous …’Kent Austin was arguably most successful HC in CFL history’. Really??? Pure bunk. Must be the team box altitude impact or perhaps he thought JJ was Kent or perhaps he’s just lost it.

  8. If Bob Young thinks Kent Austin is one of the greatest Head Coaches in CFL history then the Tiger-Cats are doomed. Austin wasn’t even the greatest coach in the Ivy League at Cornell as his record was 11-19. Bob Young is foolish if he continues to ignore Austin’s abrasiveness and condescending nature.

    Mr. Young is surely aware of the old saying “The fish rots from the head down”.

  9. Now the can of worms has really opened spilling its contents.

  10. just like the 3 stooges who plays curly who plays larry who plays moe..how long until the draft..

  11. Oh boy, if Bob Young brings Austin back just watch the exodus of players. And fans.

  12. I have even more respect for Bob now.

  13. I have even more respect for Bob now.

  14. Doug Penner // November 6, 2017 at 3:02 pm //

    Way to go Mr. Young… I thought you said that you guys were going to LEARN from previous BLUNDERS & FIASCOS??
    I literally was about to renew my seats for my wife and I this morning. Was all set to do so, after thinking we wouldnt with all the head office mistakes this year and poor coaching in the 1st half. Then Coach Jones and the players, NOT YOU, inspire us to give U a 2nd chance, becuz of their heart and grit. And NOW you do it again!!
    LISTEN!!!!! LISTEN to ur players and LISTEN to the fans!!!
    For crying out loud, how pretentious and out of touch can you get!
    I’m going to wait b4 I sign up now, to watch and see whether you and your posse in the front office are going to screw it up once again. Success or Implosion? You decide Bob!

  15. Tiger Chick // November 6, 2017 at 3:08 pm //

    Not Happy Bob! Not Happy! Ask me why Bob, Be Specific……
    Listen to the people.

  16. Bob we all appreciate how you stood up and took responsibility as a native Hamiltonian and saved this franchise but please give your head a shake. We have won 2 Grey Cups in the last 30 years and in a 9 team league that’s hard to do. The status quo is not acceptable. Starting this season at 0-8 was not acceptable. Someone has to take the blame for this season debacle and to allow the man most responsible for this sunk season to smugly toss it off as just more players being players than we are not headed to better days sir.

  17. Oh boy this has turned into another sh#t show . Sign jj and There is a chance you will save face with players and fans . But I will also say if the one or two players who “anonymously” went to drew woukd like to grow a set of balls and add your name(s) to the story . Could it be a couple disgruntled players that wouldn’t be back with the club anyway stirring the pot ?

  18. Paul Smith // November 6, 2017 at 4:32 pm //

    I think it might be time for The Spec to appoint a new football beat writer. I’m not certain Drew is the guy anymore.

  19. Bob Young has historically seen more loses than wins. We may be seeing why. Austin is a nice guy to him, but not to others below him in the organization. Wake up Bob or prepare to lose a boatload of cash next year. Austin treats certain people like dirt.

  20. Drew Edwards is an outstanding reporter. The players who spoke out the truth are brave, how can they use their names?, they would be blackballed. For Young to say they are cowardly is a total joke!

  21. onemoredork // November 6, 2017 at 5:34 pm //

    Poor Bob… The Donald of the CFL.

    • The “Donald” of the CFL?
      Let’s hope so, the US economy is booming, lowest unemployment in decades and he has made America great again. The US is respected again around the world.
      So let’s hope Bob is the “Donald of the CFL”
      Stick it to the neo-Libs

      • Ha ha ha ha ha! Good one, John!

      • You beat me to the punch. Bob sounds like Trump on tweeter now. Tories tend to be more positive. Just look at how positive Mrs. Thatcher was when the UK was falling off the rails and same with Mr. Reagan with his shining beacon comments. So here goes.. The cats have a chance to really turbo charge the CFL. The NFl is having a slow fan leak due to the anthem protests. Even respected Baseball announcer Vin Scully has vowed to never watch an NFL game again. There is a real opportunity to pick up market share from the NFL. I am not talking expansion to the US but drawing digital viewers on ESPN which now streams digitally on Sling and other similar services. Plus Buffalo is not far from Hamilton. Same with Seattle to Victoria by ferry. Detroit to Windsor etc. Lets not fight amongst our selves. Seize the day. Steps..1. Sign very popular in the US and talented players who are committed to turning their life around. Already did that with Masoli with two arrests 2010 lets be consistent with others. 2. Expand to one of Halifax, London Erie Shore, Windsor-Detroit, Quebec City, or Victoria-(Seattle by Ferry) as soon as 2018. June Jones is a genius and I see him using both Masoli and Manziel to good effect. Keep in mind both players are multi talented. Duel or Tri threats. The future is so bright you gotta wear shades.

  22. Hey Bob Young say good bye to my Money this franchise is a Joke and you just showed why they are, we will see how much of a Caretaker you are when the stadium is over half empty.

    • You are a joke! I bet you have never attended a game.
      There will never be a “half empty” stadium, the fans will be back in droves next season

  23. Paul Smith // November 6, 2017 at 6:54 pm //

    Most successful Coach in CFL history? I think not. Hugh Campbell, Frank Clair, Don Matthews.

    KA not in the same ilk as those legends.

    Sorry Bob.

  24. Zero and eight is not that frightful when you consider three of those games were Calgary and Edmonton two of the best teams, this season. in the history of the country.Could knock any coach to near or zero and eight.Fans should have some empathy too.

    • If they are not prepared to compete against Calgary and/or Edmonton, then why do they charge the same price for tickets? Charge me half-price for those games, and a loss won’t feel that bad.

    • Sea of Dead // November 6, 2017 at 8:58 pm //

      We’ve had empathy for decades now. Fortunately, most of us still have reason. Give your head a shake, pal.

      • Austin did take the team to the Grey Cup with Collaros and a near win that was no mind filled delusion.Against a darn good team to boot.(Sea of Dead)

    • You are kidding…right? 0-8 is exactly what it states…0-8. And it’s not just frightful…it’s bloody pathetic. Empathy? Waiting since 1999…like the rest of the TC faithful…only to be kicked in the gonads…again.

    • But they couldn’t beat Ottawa or Toronto when it counted.
      Next season Ottawa and Toronto will be stronger. The Ticats have to improve, they may have finished strong but the other teams will improve too.

      • Agreed … though one would think that a full off season of preparing plus training camp should make them stronger.

        If as one poster wants, there should be empathy for Austin’s 0-8 start then there should also be empathy for Jones being around for about a month then being HC that used a different offense.

    • Trouble is that it was a continuation of existing problems where many could see small changes that would easily make them more competitive. If there was any doubt, the changes under Jones illustrated this.

      Calgary and Edmonton are definitely number one and number three this season. Hopefully the “in the history of the country” is unintended exaggeration. It is bunk as the regular season results for both team fail to at best, number seven on the list best regular season results. A more detailed list of results may drop them lower than seventh.

      • Sorry … the point about the Calgary and Edmonton regular season records should be that the best ranking is seventh where a more detailed list may drop them lower.

    • Another factor to consider is that the 2011 BC Lions were the first team in CFL history to start 0-5 then go on to win the GC.

      History says starting 0-8 makes the chances of winning the GC extremely small.

  25. Darrel Boles // November 6, 2017 at 9:56 pm //

    I was an Austin supporter until I saw two things: many good former Hamilton players playing for other teams and Austin’s constant anger on the sidelines. His behavior was an embarrassment. The Briles fiasco was an embarrassment. Bob, get rid of this guy and stop the mass exodus of fans and players.

  26. Is there something in the water in Hamilton right now ?

    I saw a video on the CFL site where Simoni claimed the Cats were the best in the East in the 2nd half (at the very least statistically untrue), and now Austin is the most successful coach in CFL history ?

    Whiniest fans, absolutely, that is true. But otherwise, nope.

    • Maybe … though on the other hand, I have seen both East and West team fans post they were happy their team would not have to play Hamilton in the playoffs.

      Since Jones took over as HC, the losses are 8 points, 8 points in OT, 3 points and four points … a far cry from one loss by 5 points with the rest in double digits (as high as 59 points) while Austin was HC.

      • I’ll grant you that the Cats were no longer an easy out like early in the season but it’s a long way from “dumpster fire” to “the best” !

  27. The owner calls his player cowardly? Oh yeah,the Ti Cats are well on the way to a great off season. When players talk, ownership (Young) should listen.

    • NotJoshSmith // November 7, 2017 at 2:16 am //

      Bob Young is the just naïve to the game and business of football. Dumb dumb move Bob without listening to your players and the paying fans. We’ve all tired of the Kent Austin sh*tshow. Calling your players cowards via social media also is a boneheaded decision. How many pending Ticat free agents will want to stay, how many other free agents in the league will want to come? Dumb, dumb, dumb.

      • “We’ve all tired”

        WE?? How about you speak for yourself!!

        You do a lot of yapping regarding some of the contributors’ writings on this site…we’ve ..should be we’re or we are…DUMB..DUMB..DUMB..and yes..BONEHEADED…

  28. I wonder how June Jones would handle the pressure if he starts the season with four loses because he not exactly a young man and he did have a “get out of jail card” if things went terribly wrong.Austin would have taken the blame.
    So many things to consider for next season.

    • I’m no Edgar Cayce…but I would go out on a limb and suggest JJ would be 2-2 at worst. Why? Because his players would play hard for him and make sure the debacle of 2017 would not be repeated. And the nice thing about JJ is that he wouldn’t bump a player or try to slug an official should things go sideways.

    • With the better use of players and more balanced offense, I doubt Jones after a full training camp would have started 0-4. Keep in mind that some of the issues have been commented on during the full time Austin has been HC, dictating the offense.

      If Jones is hired as HC, we might find out or not.

      There’s really only two that IMO are critical … keeping or not keeping Austin in a VP role and keeping or not keeping Jones as HC. Those will dictate how things proceed.

  29. Perhaps at this point TC’s could do a 2 for one deal? Collaros and Austin to the highest bidder? Worth a try!

  30. OttawaHamiCatsFan // November 7, 2017 at 7:53 am //

    Wow is this off season ever shaping up to be a fiasco. Bob Young better be careful as if he makes no front office changes then I predict two things will happen. There will be a mass exodus of players come free agency time. Secondly this will lead to a similar response by the fans. This franchise has a dark cloud hanging over it and it can not seem to shake it.

    Bob, you have to wake up and take off the blinders. Your team is 6 games under 500 in the Austin era, 8 if we just count the games he coached. How is mediocrity acceptable to you? Since 1999 the highest season win total has been 11 games…..once. Twice the team won 10 and other then that it is 9 game or less with the overwhelming majority of the years has been a sub 500 record.

    I for one and sick and tired of it. Like it or not Mr. Young the Scott Mitchell and Kent Austin regime has run its course. To run status quo means you are risking alienating your fan base. The large number of empty seats this season was pretty obvious on the TSN broadcasts. New field or not we are sick of a losing team.

    Time for some front office change.

  31. Bottom line is this no matter how someone twist or turns it being a few players, fans owner etc – the players are very excited about what June Jones did with the team the last 10 games of the year. NO one should hamper him in any way in continuing that success into 2018 if the CIRCUMSTANCES are right for him professionally and personally. Get him better players and coaches leave him alone and let him do his thing. Simple as that.

  32. Wow it’s obvious us fans aren’t privy to what goes on behind closed doors-But WE can read between the lines, Bob Young somehow and someway trusts his executives in the organization? Kent Austin for one covered his own a$$ when signing over from Cornell. Signing a long term lucrative contract, and at the same time taking on all various positions as HC, GM, and VP of Football OP’s. Total control of team, even took over OC at one time. Mr. Young declaring K.A. as one of “the most successful coaches in CFL history”? Come on, anybody with an inkling of CFL history, isn’t that naive to think this. His overall record for collegiate and pro ball as a HCW is under .500? Obviously this is a financially quandary for the Cats, Austin and Mitchell are signed on for large salaries, and Mr. Young isn’t prepared to eat it, and release them or buy out their contracts. And re-hire new and fresh blood. Austin got into 2 G.C.’s because of an excellent DC in Orlando Steinhauer and excellent ST’s coordinator Jeff Reinhold, and a excellent OC in Tommy Condell. They’re gone, because of Austin or money? Nobody really knows. Austin signs Collaros and others to ridiculous contracts, and blows the load on the cap. Doesn’t evaluate the proper team in 2017, doesn’t instill confidence into team, and starts season at 0-8. The kicker was 60-1 loss VS Calgary? June Jones comes in a few tweaks, and Lolley helps defense. And Austin has the audacity to take credit at the press conference for bringing Jones, and Lolley in to turn the season around. OK you might be able to snow Bob Young, but give us fans a little more credit. Collaros wasn’t used properly, and Austin NEVER considered Masoli even when O Line was deficient. His offense was predictable,pass happy, no run game. So IMO Austin’s time in the Hammer us up. If Hamilton wants to be a viable, competitive team for a G.C.in 2018, the solution and resolution us cut Kent Austin loose. Listen to you’re fan base Mr. Young. WE pay the player’s salaries. It’s been since 1999 WE last seen it. Appreciate what you did and done for Hamilton, BUT open you’re eyes and ears please!

    • Josh Smith // November 8, 2017 at 2:33 am //

      Bingo Bango @Ti-Cat Observer, time for everyone to get on Twitter and let the Babysitter, um I mean Caretaker know we want Mitchell and Austin gone or we riot.

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