Head CFL official admits referees erred by failing to eject Vernon Adams Jr.
The CFL’s director of officiating admitted Vernon Adams Jr. should have been tossed from the game for his helmet swing at Adam Bighill.
“It’s a miss. It’s safe to say that he should have been ejected for what he did,” Darren Hackwood told Ted Wyman of the Winnipeg Sun.
Adams Jr. tore the helmet off Bighill and attempted 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.
“You never get a reverse angle here. So you never see the helmet, where it connects, how it’s swung. Something happens on the ground. You see Vernon pick up the helmet and start to move with it but you don’t really see clearly what happened,” Hackwood said.
“We tell the command centre they need to be clear and obvious on everything. Especially if you’re gonna eject somebody, you’re not gonna guess. They don’t have the benefit of things like Bighill’s explanation in the moment or any of that kind of stuff that comes after the game.
CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie handed down a one game suspension for the incident and Adams Jr. won’t be appealing the discipline. There was a telephone hearing with Adams Jr. and representatives from the Canadian Football League Players’ Association.
“They stopped the game, they asked for more angles,” Hackwood said.
“There just weren’t any more angles where you could really see what happened. So they left it as it was called on the field.”