When Brooks kicked the spinning football and got his O/C penalty I wondered what would have happened if he had picked up the spinning football and handed it to a ref? From the CFL rule book:
SECTION 4 — OBJECTIONABLE CONDUCT
A player shall be penalized for any act of objectionable conduct, including but not limited to:
[ol]- verbal abuse or objectionable gesture directed at an opponent, official or spectator,
throwing the ball at an opponent, official or occupant of the team bench area,
interfering with the placement of the official's flag marking the spot for a penalty,
baiting or taunting an opponent by act or word,
voluntarily removing his helmet after a play while on the field, except during a timeout, or throwing it to the ground, or using it in an intimidating manner against an opponent, official or spectator,
unnecessary physical contact with an official,
if a player is in possession of a foreign or extraneous object that is not part of the uniform or equipment, during a game, either on the field or on the Sideline, he will be subject to an Objectionable Conduct penalty. If the object is deemed a safety hazard by the Referee, the player will also be disqualified.[/ol]
it does not appear to be a foul. Under similar circumstances, players with cooler heads, might consider just picking up the ball as that does not qualify as O/C (baiting or taunting - which seems to be the sub-section he was penalised on). I would suggest the team verify this with the head of officiating, just to verify my theory. (I have been wrong many, many times in my life).
I'm not trying to justify his actions. It was a boneheaded play - to kick the ball. I understand his actions though as football is a very emotional game. Controlling emotions, although hard to do, is one key to victory for successful teams.
And it looked more like a “flick? than a kick, so maybe falls into the taunting category. Or maybe Brooks said something at the same time? Kind of call designed to encourage players to keep a lid on their behaviour after the whistle.
The underlined part gives the officials discretion to penalize any other behavior they deem, in their judgment, to be objectionable. Ultimately they're still accountable to the head of officiating for exercising that discretion in good faith.
The "no kicking the ball after the whistle" was an interpretation added in 2011 after Arland Bruce punted the ball away in frustration after the end of a play that year. The ironic part is that the first time it was called was on one of Stala's TD celebrations, which the league ended up saying shouldn't have been flagged.
This is where checking with the head of officiating for the okay/not okay on my idea would be the best thing to do. I think someone just picking up the spinning football and handing it to a ref, without saying a word, would not be O/C. I would love to hear from the league on this, though, first.