CFL commissioner Randy Ambrosie was planning to talk with the league’s board of governors on Tuesday to discuss some business matters. He’ll be adding one new item to the agenda for discussion.
Ambrosie said the league has already started reaching out to coaches, general managers and team presidents to get their thoughts on potential changes in the wake of a non-call in Sunday’s CFL West Division semifinal between Winnipeg and Saskatchewan.
“I know we’re going to do something,” Ambrosie said Monday from Hamilton. “Exactly what it is, today, I’m not perfectly sure. But I’m very committed to getting something done and doing it as quickly as possible.”
Roughriders quarterback Brandon Bridge was rocked by a helmet-to-helmet hit by Jackson Jeffcoat after throwing a pass downfield. The Bombers were not penalized, and the commissioner issued a statement after the game saying it was “clearly a missed call” due to the on-field referee’s view being blocked and suggested it was time to explore the idea of allowing the Command Centre to make the call on such plays.
Any potential changes to the current setup would come after the post-season at the earliest, but the wheels appear to be in motion.
“If I thought I had it nailed by Friday, I would do it but I think it’s going to take more time than that,” Ambrosie said. “This is an important item. That’s why I’m going to have a separate discussion with the governors (Tuesday), just to take their temperature on where they stand on this because I think that consulting them is another important part of a good, healthy process.”
Bridge stayed motionless on the turf for a few minutes before walking off under his own strength.
The incident came a week after Saskatchewan quarterback Zach Collaros took a late hit in the Riders’ regular-season finale against the B.C. Lions. Collaros practised last week but wasn’t healthy enough to play on Sunday.
The CFL’s rules committee would need to approve any potential changes and the board of governors would have to provide final ratification.
“I saw last night an opportunity, that had our referee with the benefit of immediate, five different views, we could have made that call and dealt with it,” Ambrosie said. “I’m kind of leaning that way but I want to make sure we’re thorough and thoughtful with all of our teams and football guys to make sure that if we’re going to make a change that we do it together.”
With the 23-18 victory, the Blue Bombers advanced to Sunday’s West final against the Stampeders in Calgary. The Ottawa Redblacks will host the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the East final.
The Grey Cup is set for Nov. 25 at Edmonton.
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Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press