Former NFL Commissioner Tagliabue to Rule on Bounty Probe
Today is supposed to be a BIG day in the NFL! Former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue is expected to hand out a ruling today on the latest round of player appeals in the NFL's bounty probe, and any potential punishment will be delayed by a week, sources told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen.
Players rejected an offer that included in a settlement proposal, acknowledgement of culpability in the bounty and pay-for-performance program allegedly operated by the players. Current and former Saints players and coaches have acknowledged the existence of a performance pool that rewarded key defensive plays including hard, legal tackles, but have denied organizing or participating in a program designed to intentionally injure opponents.
Let’s hope that this long drawn out nightmare can finally come to and end. The ruling will be a mandate of sorts on the NFL Probe into the bounty program pitting NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell against NFL Players. For the first time lawyers for the accused were allowed to review documents and witness statements compiled in the probe, some of which exonerate the players of what they were accused of.
The bounty scandal placed a black eye on the New Orleans Saints and gave them a knockout blow in the form of suspensions of players and coaches, namely Head Coach Sean Payton and a dismal 5-8 record, knocking the Saint’s out of playoff contention for the first time since 2008.
NFL has long been a violent sport where brutality has been admired and glorified; the harder and more vicious the hit the better. Remember Oakland Raider, Jack “The Assassin” Tatum? However, the league has made inroads into player safety and is now taking concussions, injuries and certain hits more seriously. Let’s hope that today will mark the end of the “dirty” side of football.
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