We all knew it was coming but we never thought this would be the outcome.
New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton has been suspended without pay for the 2012 season by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, and former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has been banned indefinitely from the NFL, all results of the team’s bounty program which was said to have targeted opposing players, such a Brett Farve and Kirk Warner.
In addition to Payton and Williams, the Commissioner also suspended Saints general manager Mickey Loomis for the first eight regular-season games next season, and assistant coach Joe Vitt for the first six games.
If the suspensions weren’t enough, the Saints have also been fined $500,000, and their second-round draft picks this year and next year have been taken away.
The NFL said payoffs went to 22 to 27 defensive players for inflicting game-ending injuries on targeted opponents. It was said that knockouts were worth $1,500 and cart-offs $1,000, with payments doubled or tripled for the playoffs.
No punishment has been handed to the players that are involved, the leagues reports that that part is still under investigation.
Rodger Goodell has been a strict enforcer after taking the reins of NFL Commissioner after his mentor Paul Tagliabue. Back in in 2007 Goodell reprimanded the New England Patriots for illegally videotaping an opponent. Goodell fined the Patriots $250,000, stripped away a first-round draft pick, and fined their coach, Bill Belichick, $500,000 for his involvement.
As the draft and the pre-season camps are looking to open in the coming months, it will be interesting to see how that Saints are going to fair. Many fans are sure to be disappointed but as we keep reminding everyone, sports is not just a pastime, it’s a business…a very lucrative one.
The message that Goodell continues to send for whatever reason is falling on death ears. Whether its drugs, alcohol, random acts off and on the field, Rodger Goodell is determined to make the NFL a straight arrow on the moral compass.