Saints punished for placing bounties

March 29, 2012 • Matthew Urrutia, Writer  
Filed under Feature

Even though the National Football League’s season is over for the year, there is still much going on to keep Commissioner Roger Goodell busy.

Goddell suspended Saints’ head coach Sean Payton for one year which will go into effect on April 1, 2012. Payton took full responsibility for an operation which awarded Saints’ defensive players cash bonuses for purposely injuring opponents’ star players via knockout hits or tackles.

The operation was said to have started in 2009, the year the Saints won their only Super Bowl.

“I think it’s dumb that players need money to play and hit hard. Football is a rough sport but purposely trying to injure someone is wrong,” sophomore Andrew Brom said.

Also receiving punishment for the operation were defensive coordinator Gregg Williams who now with the St. Louis Rams, Saints general manager Mickey Loomis and assistant head coach Joe Vitt. Williams, who was the creator of the operation is suspended indefinitely while Loomis while serve an eight-game suspension and Vitt will serve a six-game suspension.

“This is why the NFL has to keep making new rules,” sophomore Tara Butler said. “’They have to keep their players safe from teams like the Saints.”

“I think the NFL is becoming more aware of the illegal things going on in the league. I don’t really like all the new rules they are making but I guess it’s what’s best for the players,” junior Gustavo Feria said.

Not only will Payton not be allowed to coach the Saints, but he will also be denied his salary of $7.5 million during his suspension.

“The NFL is being too harsh on Sean Payton. He should not have been suspended for a year, maybe six to eight games, and he should also still get his salary,” Brom said.

To add to the Saints’ punishment, the franchise will have to pay a $500,000 fine to regain their 2nd-round draft picks that were taken away by Goodell. The second round draft picks were for the years 2012 and 2013.

“I hope Sean Payton and the Saints don’t find a way out of their punishment. I think he needs to serve the suspension because what he did was wrong,” Feria said.

The NFL had also discovered that bounties were placed on four quarterbacks: Brett Favre, Kurt Warner, Aaron Rodgers, and Cam Newton.

“I feel bad for the players that are actually playing the game because they love it and want to play. People shouldn’t be trying to knock them out just for money,” Butler said.

“Not a lot of people play the game because they love it. Most players play for money, and even though they are good at football, the sport is just a business to them,” Brom said.

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