League follows past helmet-swinging incidents: Alouettes’ Vernon Adams Jr. suspended

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

History tells us that Vernon Adams Jr. should have suspended for swinging a helmet at the face of Adam Bighill.

Current B.C. Lions’ general manager Ed Hervey was suspended one game for a similar action in 2003, catching an official in the face.

CFL supervisor of officials Neil Payne said at the time: “When you have your helmet off and are using it as a weapon, does it matter who’s head you’re trying to hit?”

That same year, Otis Floyd was tossed and missed three games due to league discipline for pulling a helmet off, throwing it and hitting a referee in the jaw.

Former Edmonton Eskimos’ linebacker A.J. Gass was thrown out of a game in 2007 and disciplined for another after ripping off an opposing players’ helmet and tossing it.

Adams Jr. did not hit an official in the face. Instead he tore Bighill’s helmet from his head, swung and tried to hit him in the face.

A penalty was assessed on the play for general roughness, but it should have been an ejection based on past precedent and the rulebook.

A player shall be disqualified from the game, and substitution permitted, for any act of serious misconduct, including but not limited to:

  1. Rough Play against an opponent,
  2. two Grade 2 Unnecessary Roughness fouls,
  3. physical abuse of an official,
  4. excessive objectionable conduct against an opponent or an official,
  5. wearing of hazardous equipment.

CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie, reviewed the incident, and made a statement about player safety — not only pertaining to quarterbacks — suspending Adams Jr.

It didn’t matter that the league office is currently running the Alouettes. Adams Jr. committed the offence and will serve the same punishment that was levied on others years ago.