Ambrosie acknowledges ‘clearly inadequate’ response to Collaros hit

CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie has issued a statement on the controversy surrounding the Zach Collaros hit.

The statement addresses a number of the issues I raised in a column on 3DownNation earlier Monday.

Here’s the statement:

I want to acknowledge that our response to the Odell Willis hit on Zach Collaros this past weekend was clearly inadequate.

First of all, the play should have been flagged and a roughing the passer penalty should have been imposed by the on-field officiating crew without Saskatchewan having to use its’ challenge.

Secondly, the Injury Spotter, who has access to several camera angles in the Command Centre, including the view from the “all 24 (players)” camera, should have immediately stopped the game and had Collaros removed from the field for examination upon the first signs of distress.

Finally, we should have publicly acknowledged these errors and communicated with the media and fans promptly instead of waiting until last evening to share a statement.

I am committed to removing reckless and dangerous play from our game. (Willis’ hit on Collaros is being reviewed today for discipline.) The fact that we did not respond adequately is not acceptable to me. I have made that very clear to our personnel today. We are reviewing our processes, protocols and rules to ensure this chain of events is not repeated.

On one hand, it’s encouraging that Ambrosie recognizes how badly the league botched the entire affair and is taking some ownership of the situation. It will be interesting to see what, if any, discipline he doles out to Odell Willis (my guess is a fine.) At the same time, what we have is yet more words — I’ll reserve judgment until something actually changes.

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