There’s no clear-cut timeline for when Gregg Williams possibly can resume his NFL coaching profession, but Commissioner Roger Goodell reportedly has detailed a path back to the league for the disgraced St. Louis Rams defensive coordinator.
“I will critique your status at the conclusion of the 2012 season and consider whether, and if so, on what terms, you may possibly be reinstated and once more eligible to be employed in the NFL,” Goodell wrote in a letter to Williams, according to SI.com’s Peter King, immediately after suspending the coach indefinitely for his function in the New Orleans Saints’ “bounty scandal.
“In creating this choice, I will give considerable weight to the extent to which you cooperate with my workplace in any additional proceedings, as well as creating and implementing programs developed to teach players and coaches — particularly at other levels of the game — how to play football in a way that is safe, fair, and that respects the game and those who participate in it … I appreciate that this choice will be hard for you. I hope you will use the opportunity to reflect on how you can return to the NFL in a way that honors the game and improves it for those who participate in it.”
Williams previously apologized for his actions as Saints defensive coordinator, and he issued an additional remorseful statement following the NFL announced its punishments last week.
“I’d like to once more apologize wholeheartedly to the NFL, Coach Fisher, the entire Rams organization and all football fans for my actions,” Williams mentioned in the statement.
“Furthermore, I apologize to the players of the NFL for my involvement as it is not a true reflection of my values as a father or coach, nor is it reflective of the wonderful respect I have for this game and its core principle of sportsmanship. I accept complete responsibility for my actions. I very worth the 23 years that I’ve spent in the NFL.”
Saints head coach Sean Payton also earned a 1-year suspension with out pay, and general manager Mickey Loomis was suspended for the first eight games of the 2012 season. The suspensions could be appealed, and SI.com reports that folks are split in their viewing of the fairness of Payton’s suspension, but league counsel Jeff Pash told the web site that Goodell wanted to make a statement with the sanctions.
“The commissioner has been clear from day one that he wants to alter the culture of the game,” Pash said, whilst also adding that the league did not discover bounty programs within other organizations.
“He desires to eradicate the gratuitous hits, and remove any excessive violence that has no spot in the game. If accomplishing that consists of harsh penalties that some folks feel are excessive, then so be it. We are comfy with the sanctions.”
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