The man in charge of CFL officials is taking some heat from the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
At issue is director of officiating Tom Higgins’ comment that justice was served when the Bombers failed to score the game-winning touchdown against Montreal Friday night.
“Someone in that position, there is no justice, because it’s all neutral,” veteran D-lineman Doug Brown said, Tuesday. “He’s an impartial bystander that just wants the rules to be enforced fairly and accurately. I was surprised to hear he had perspective that there was a sense of justice on the field.”
Higgins’ comments came after a bad pass interference call against the Alouettes in the dying seconds gave Winnipeg the ball on the Montreal one-yard line.
Saying the call sickened him, Higgins fired the official who made that call, then all but said it’s a good thing the Bombers didn’t score to win the game.
“From the standpoint of officiating, I don’t think there is owing people or payback or getting square, balancing things out on the field of play,” Brown said. “It’s supposed to be arbitrary and clinical, almost, without any bias or regard for either team.
“I understand in the context of one of his officials having a difficult time with what was an obvious or evident call to many people ... but I still don’t think winning or losing or having an inclination towards one team, squaring things up, I don’t think that’s within the parameters of that position.”
Bomber head coach Paul LaPolice chose not to wade into the controversy, saying it was league business, not his.
At the same time, LaPolice acknowledged he was surprised to read Higgins’ comments.
As for the firing of the official: “It’s always good to have accountability in every walk of life,” LaPolice said.