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Saints Coach Suspended

March 22, 2012 by staff 

Saints Coach Suspended, The New Orleans Saints’ crush-for-cash bounty system already cost them head coach Sean Payton for all of next season and general manager Mickey Loomis for half of it, plus two second-round draft picks and a $500,000 fine.

Former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who oversaw and contributed money to the illegal fund, was suspended indefinitely.

Unforgiving and unprecedented penalties Wednesday from an NFL determined to rid its sport of hits that aim to knock opponents out of a game.

Now Commissioner Roger Goodell will turn his attention to possible punishments for two dozen or so defensive players the league’s investigation found were involved in the extra payouts that he called “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-related lawsuits brought by hundreds of former players. “No one is above the game or the rules that govern it.”

The league is reviewing the case with the NFL Players Association before deciding what to do about players who were part of the Saints’ scheme from 2009-11.

“While I will not address player conduct at this time, I am profoundly troubled by the fact that players — including leaders among the defensive players — embraced this program so enthusiastically and participated with what appears to have been a deliberate lack of concern for the well-being of their fellow players,” Goodell said.

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