Austin says he doesn’t expect fine or suspension for contact with official

Hamilton head coach Kent Austin isn’t expecting to be fined or suspended by the CFL for contacting an official during the Tiger-Cats’ 20-18 loss to the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Regina on Saturday.

The Ticats were trailing 17-11 in the fourth quarter when they were called for illegal procedure. A perplexed Austin walked towards an official on the sidelines and swung his hand in frustration, slapping the official’s hand in the process.

That prompted a second flag, a 10-yard objectionable conduct penalty call.

“No, why should I be concerned about that,” Austin told reporters Tuesday when asked if he expected to be disciplined for the incident. “Anybody that watches it knows it was completely accidental and unintentional and I got penalized for it.

“If there’s anything intentional about it or aggressive about it they would’ve given a 25-yard penalty and kicked me out at the time in the game. It’s said and done.”

The CFL rulebook provides two penalties against players for physical contact of an official: a 10-yard objectionable conduct call or an automatic disqualification and 25-yard penalty. There’s no reference to perspective punishment for coaches.

As of late Tuesday afternoon, there was still no word from the CFL regarding any discipline of Austin.

Last year, Austin, also Hamilton’s vice-president of football operations, was fined $5,000 by the CFL for bumping into Toronto receiver Dave Stala _ a former Ticat _ during a game.

Earlier this season, the league suspended Montreal receiver Duron Carter for one game after he bumped Ottawa head coach Rick Campbell during a game. Carter appealed the ban, which was later upheld by an arbitrator.

Austin said he walked to the official because he didn’t understand the original call. Austin added he twice asked the official what the penalty was for, garnering a response after the second question.

“I had a reaction to the call,” Austin said. “Unfortunately there was a slight contact with his fingers and I got penalized for it.

“Talking to Glen (CFL senior vice-president of football Glen Johnson), the official himself has shown it was completely accidental and unintentional and so we just move on. I just need to be more careful. It was just something that occurred, there was nothing aggressive about it with respect to that official. He wasn’t even the one who threw the flag.”

Austin said he apologized to the official.

Hamilton (6-7) hosts Calgary (11-1-1) on Saturday night. The Stampeders have won 10 straight and are riding a 12-game unbeaten streak.

Must Read