Posted on 25 March 2012.
The NFL handed down sweeping and unprecedented punishment Wednesday for bounties paid out on huge hits, suspending New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton with no pay for next season and indefinitely banning the team’s former defensive coordinator, Gregg Williams, who now operates for the St. Louis Rams.
Payton is the 1st head coach suspended by the league for any reason. He is accused of attempting to cover up a system of added cash payouts that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell known as “particularly unusual and egregious” and “totally unacceptable.”
“We are all accountable and responsible for player health and safety and the integrity of the game. We will not tolerate conduct or a culture that undermines those priorities,” said Goodell, whose league faces more than 20 concussion-associated lawsuits brought by hundreds of former players. “No 1 is above the game or the guidelines that govern it.”
According to the league, Payton ignored instructions from the NFL and Saints ownership to make sure bounties weren’t becoming paid. The league also chastised him for deciding on to “falsely deny that the system existed,” and for attempting to “encourage the false denials by instructing assistants to ‘make sure our ducks are in a row.’ “
Goodell also banned Saints general manager Mickey Loomis for the 1st eight normal-season games subsequent season, and assistant coach Joe Vitt for the very first six games.
In addition, Goodell fined the Saints $ 500,000 and took away their second-round draft picks this year and subsequent.
The league announced the punishments by way of a news release.
Following the NFL first made its investigation public on March two, Williams admitted to — and apologized for — running the program even though in charge of the Saints’ defense from 2009 to 2011. He was hired by the Rams in January.
Goodell will review Williams’ status after the upcoming season and determine whether he can return to the league.
Sources close to Williams told NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora that they were shocked by the news. The sources stated they had been expecting a shorter suspension, one thing like a month or six games, and had been hoping for a thing that would final much less than half a season.
The Saints now have to determine who will coach the team although Payton is barred — his suspension is effective April 1 — and who will make roster moves even though Loomis is out.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees reacted really strongly to Payton’s punishment.
“I am speechless,” Brees wrote via his Twitter account. “Sean Payton is a wonderful man, coach, and mentor. The very best there is. I require to hear an explanation for this punishment.”
The NFL mentioned the scheme involved 22 to 27 defensive players targeted opponents included quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton, Brett Favre and Kurt Warner. “Knockouts” were worth $ 1,500 and “cart-offs” $ 1,000, with payments doubled or tripled for the playoffs.
In a memo sent out to the NFL’s 32 teams, Goodell ordered owners to make positive their clubs are not providing bounties now. Every club’s principal owner and head coach need to certify in writing by March 30 that no spend-for-performance technique exists.
Punishment for any Saints players involved will be determined later, since the league is nonetheless reviewing the case with the NFL Players Association.
As recently as this year, Payton said he was entirely unaware of the bounties — “a claim contradicted by others,” the league mentioned. And according to the investigation, Payton received an e mail before the Saints’ very first game in 2011 that read, “PS Greg Williams put me down for $ 5000 on Rogers (sic).” When Payton was shown that e mail by NFL investigators, he acknowledged it referred to a bounty on Rodgers, whose Packers beat the Saints in Week 1.
The league mentioned that in addition to contributing funds to the bounty fund, Williams oversaw record-keeping, determined payout amounts and who got money, and handed out envelopes with cash to players. The NFL mentioned Williams acknowledged he intentionally misled NFL investigators when first questioned in 2010, and didn’t try to cease the bounties.
Vitt was conscious of the bounties and, according to the league, later admitted he had “fabricated the truth” when interviewed in 2010.
(About:) This report was distributed by Syndicated Sports news wire and aggregation service, For far more NFL news see: NFL suspends Williams indefinitely, Saints’ Payton 1 year.