Former NFL commissioner rescinds player punishments in bounty case
Former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who now coaches for St. Louis, admitted to paying players for vicious hits.
December 11th, 2012
02:22 PM ET

Former NFL commissioner rescinds player punishments in bounty case

Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue has rescinded punishments against players in the New Orleans Saints bounty case, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Tuesday on Twitter.

In March, the NFL said an investigation found the Saints had an "active bounty program" during the 2009, 2010 and 2011 seasons. During this time, players were purportedly offered "bounty" payments if they managed to hurt opposing players and knock them out of a game.

The following statement by the NFL was released following the announcement:

"We respect Mr. Tagliabue’s decision, which underscores the due process afforded players in NFL disciplinary matters. This matter has now been reviewed by Commissioner Goodell, two CBA grievance arbitrators, the CBA Appeals Panel, and Mr. Tagliabue as Commissioner Goodell’s designated appeals officer. The decisions have made clear that the Saints operated a bounty program in violation of league rules for three years, that the program endangered player safety, and that the commissioner has the authority under the CBA to impose discipline for those actions as conduct detrimental to the league. Strong action was taken in this matter to protect player safety and ensure that bounties would be eliminated from football."

soundoff (47 Responses)
  1. government cheese

    The commissioner does not have the power anymore to run the NFL without players filing lawsuits.

    December 11, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • Justin

      What a shame that the Commissioner doesn't have the power to suspend players without any actual evidence of wrongdoing.

      December 11, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Saintsofchildplayersafety?

      WHOCARES? > no mutiny on the Bounty

      December 11, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Shuffler

    New Orleans will forever be known as a low life melting pot for what they did. The NFL would be a much better league without those types in it.

    December 11, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. buddha

    The players need Jail Time to understand their actions. Damn violent game.

    December 11, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse | Reply
    • bubbha

      I disagree.

      December 11, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • carbonthief

      The players are guilty for sure, but jail time, or any such harsh punishment should start with those that implement and encourage the infraction, those at the top: coaches, owners, management. The players have all the incentive in the world to follow the "rules" passed down in a given organization that monetarily rewards them for actions like this.

      December 11, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  4. robert

    Just another example of the ridiculousness of the NFL's claimed "reputation for wholesomeness"

    December 11, 2012 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. scott

    im sorry but the NFL isn't fun to watch anymore..... might as well put flags around them and then watch them make a rule about touching, the bounty thing sucks there is no place for it... but i'd rather watch real football..... college, for now before they start messing with the rules there to... there already getting a little touchy with hitting the QB!!!

    December 11, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Vijay

    It is not only with saints, it is with all the teams. We still see ferocious hit in every game, that is the nature of the sport. It is true that many of lives were changed because of this. Compare to bounty scandal, NFL should investigate about guns and DWI. Guns and DWI kills many, they need to be strict that they should abolish gun culture when they playing for the team. If a person gets arrested for DWI, he should be suspended for at least 4 games. It may be too harsh, but there is no option.

    December 11, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  7. James

    About damn time.–The Baltimore Ravens players do it for the fun of it. So does that guy who plays for Detroit. Anger management didn't help him any. Just sharpened his focus a bit more. The NFL fines these guys now and then but its just "Chump Change" to all of them.

    December 11, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Hasai

    Seems one can get with almost anything, as long as you're a star in the NFL.

    Coming up next: Assassination pools.

    December 11, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Fire Dog

    If the NFL was about safety, they would mandate the safest helmets made and full use of pads. Until they do that all they are doing is ripping off the players. As for the reported bounty program, I still don't believe they know 100% it existed and who was in it, if it did exist. One film clip of an unidentified person saying give me my money doesn't prove a conspiracy. Now Goodell and his cronies, there is a conspiracy!

    December 12, 2012 at 1:55 am | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Log dog

    There were two messages sent and delivered. Understand the purpose of the actions. The first message was the commissioner can levy heavy punishments when appropriate. Look at the season New Orleans had. The message was effective. The second message was that there is an appeals process for the players. Both messages were delivered and received. That was all this whole thing was about was demonstrating the power each representative possessed in the process and the impact. Hard to argue this wasn't successful.

    December 12, 2012 at 7:19 am | Report abuse | Reply
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