How that's harsh, but warranted, I think.
So the players who put up the money and actually tried to injure their opponents don't face any repercussions?
That doesn't seem right.
Sean Payton suspended, Saints fined for bounty program
New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton has been suspended for one year and the team will lose its second round pick in 2012 and '13 and pay $500,000 as a result of the NFL's bounty investigation, the league announced Wednesday.
Former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who orchestrated the program, has been suspended from the NFL indefinitely. Saints general manager Mickey Loomis also faces an eight-game suspension and a $500,000 fine.
The NFL revealed in early March an investigation which found more than 20 defensive players for the Saints participated in a 'bounty' system from 2009 to '11 which rewarded individuals with cash for harming opposing players.
"We are all accountable and responsible for player health and safety and the integrity of the game," Commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday. "We will not tolerate conduct or a culture that undermines those priorities. No one is above the game or the rules that govern it. Respect for the game and the people who participate in it will not be compromised."
The league found that the cash pool reached $50,000 or more during the 2009 playoffs, and players were paid $1,500 for a "knockout" and $1,000 for a "cart-off" with payouts doubling or tripling during the playoffs. Money was provided primarily by players.
All such payments violate league rules for non-contract bonuses.
Williams administered the program, and the NFL says Payton was not a direct participant, yet was aware of the allegations and "failed to stop the bounty program." Saints assistant head coach Joe Vitt is also suspended without pay for the first six games of the 2012 season.
Payton and Loomis took "full responsibility" for the violations in a joint statement issued days after the findings, and later met with Goodell in New York to discuss the issue.
The pair apologized for the "unique hardship" on team owner Tom Benson, recognized the severity of the violations, and promised that they "will never happen again."
Williams, who left the Saints this offseason to become defensive coordinator for the St. Louis Rams, apologized for his program, which he reportedly also implemented in several other NFL cities. Commissioner Goodell will review Williams' status at the conclusion of the 2012 season and consider whether to reinstate him.
"I have learned a hard lesson and I guarantee that I will never participate in or allow this kind of activity to happen again," Williams said.
Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma became the player face of the program following an SI.com report describing his $10,000 offer to any player who could knock Brett Favre out of the 2009 NFC Championship Game.
Link - Sean Payton suspended, Saints fined for bounty program
The punishment fits and the Commish has said there will be more punishments to come. Warren Sapp has said previously that in TB had an "inside pool" among the defensive players. It barely caused a whisper around the league when he talked about it after he retired. And when I heard him laughing and joking about it on NFL TV it pissed me off because he ended the greatest receivers career-yeah Jerry Rice went on to play for Oakland, but his career was essentially ended when Sapp destroyed his knee. Maybe that's why Goodell has been so harsh is to stop the practice altogether.
I think Payton only got that much because he is the Head Coach. He didn't have anything to do with the bounty system, whether he knew about it or not. I believe he is being unfairly punished. I think it's the players and Gregg Willams who should be suspended this much if not for longer.
Payton knew about the bounty system. He was warned to stop it and it continued under his watch. I don't know if he knew it was still going on, but he is responsible for what his coaches are doing. Still I think this was as much about punishing the whole team as it was about punishing him.
Over the last few years, the NFL has made a bunch of rule changes designed to help protect players--especially receivers and QBs--from injury. They've made dealing with head injuries a high priority. They have to make the punishment severe to deter all players from continuing this behavior. Fines for excessively violent hits haven't worked. If they give the Saints a slap on the wrist, it will send a message that directly contradicts what the league is trying to do.
Being that they are the Saints maybe they should have made a push for Tebow since Drew Christopher Brees is likely gonna sit out this season.
I definitely agree on Payton getting to much of the brunt on this but a message had to be sent for sure.