Spygate North? Ticats scoff at Riders' accusation of cheating

Spygate North? Ticats scoff at Riders' accusation of cheating

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Kent Austin dismissed allegations from Saskatchewan Roughriders head coach/GM Chris Jones that the Hamilton Tiger-Cats used insider information prior to their meeting earlier this month.

On Tuesday, Jones said the Riders will hold closed practices for the remainder of the season after accusing the Ticats of spying prior to their regular-season matchup. Saskatchewan beat Hamilton 37-20 on July 8 for its first win of the year. The Ticats (0-3) remain winless.

“Oh, Chris, yeah, good old Chris,” Austin, Hamilton’s head coach and vice-president of football operations, said Wednesday. “That’s, quite frankly, absurd.

“God forbid that we actually prepared our players as coaches. Or maybe they’re just looking for a reason to close their practice.”

CFL rules permit teams to hold one closed practice per week.

Jones was particularly concerned about a specific special teams play in the game, where he felt the Ticats reacted uncharacteristically quickly to Saskatchewan’s formation.

The accusation is reminiscent of claims made against the NFL’s New England Patriots in 2007. After a prolonged investigation, dubbed Spygate, coach Bill Belichick was fined $500,000 and the team $250,000 for videotaping opponents’s practices.

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