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Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue has rescinded punishments against players in the New Orleans Saints bounty case, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said Tuesday on Twitter.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

    How much was this bum PAID to come up with this b-s decision?

    December 11, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • pcm

      On a hot day, I once was dripping with sweat and someone put a bounty on my head...can mr. Goodell look into a lawsuit on the Bounty Corporation?

      December 11, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • BigToe

      If he is an "EX" commissioner, how does he have power to rescind the penalty? Another "NASCAR" type rule I guess...

      December 11, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • TinKnight

      He was appointed by the current Commissioner with the approval of CBA appeals, yeah, he has the authority to rescind player punishments.

      Honestly, this wasn't an unexpected decision.

      The primary perpetrators of the actions, which is to say the coaches, are still being punished as they rightly should be.

      December 11, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jonas

    lol they say this when the saints season has damn near went down the drain...

    December 11, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • midachs2

      The toilet bowl is empty,the Saints are gone.

      December 11, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • paul

      just a bunch of terds

      December 11, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ca Ed

      damn near????? They are in the main channel, mid-stream, and heading straight for the drain.

      You can't change horses in mid stream.
      One of the reasons the Saints are in the mess they are in is because of the suspensions.
      Does anybody think this will change the season?

      Maybe if they toss the red hankey and get a reversal it will make it better. NOT

      December 11, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |

    did anyone really think this would turn out any different

    December 11, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  4. FlawedLogic

    Goodell is the one who needs the bounty on his head.

    December 11, 2012 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jeff

    Why didn't they take away the Saint's Super Bowl win for the 2009 season? They do it all the time in the NCAA for much less than literally attempting to injure (risking lifelong pain/suffering) opposing players. Ask Favre if his ankle, knees and arm will ever be the same after the NFC Championship game...

    December 11, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • tom

      They do it all the time in the NCAA? Huh? Name one instance when a championship was taken away in the NCAA.

      December 11, 2012 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • txborngal

      @Tom – Yes, NCAA forfeited has championships – Trojans 2005 Orange Bowl win, Kentucky 2012 basketball, SMU also forfeited games and could not participate for many years.

      December 11, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Paul

      Uhm, they just took away 21 YEARS of championships from Penn State...

      December 11, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rudy Jordache

      @Jeff I'd not only take away the trophy, but all the money the organization got for winning!! That includes the players shares!!!

      December 11, 2012 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • 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 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  6. julnor

    Let's face it, it's just wrong and immoral to hold people accountable for their actions.

    December 11, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. jamessavik

    And NFL players are NOT paid millions of dollars to hit each other?

    Hypocrisy, thy name is Roger Goodell.

    December 11, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • TinKnight

      There's a difference between hitting someone in an accepted manner while wearing tons of protection, and deliberately aiming to injure them.

      Football is a contact is NOT a sport where you go around trying to break legs or cause permanent or even long-term damage.

      December 11, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
  8. libby

    if we going all out on stripping saints super bowl win then i feel that Gregg Williams should also be removed from NFL and unable to ever coach

    December 11, 2012 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Russell

    How can a former NFL commissioner do anything? Does this mean the punishments are over or that they were never considered valid. Overall, this seems like a pretty poor job of reporting.

    December 11, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Big_D

    The Saints could hire people to hurt people all day and the NFL still looks better officiated than the NBA. It was funny to see San Antonio suffer star calls at the Heat but they should get used to what all the small market teams already know about the NBA.

    December 11, 2012 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  11. marc

    Paul Tagliabue has basically stated that despite your overwhelming victory, we will go ahead and call this one a draw

    December 11, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Cartman

    Tom, the BCS vacated USC's 2004-2005 national championship.

    December 11, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      Thanks for the comment, I attempted to respond but for some reason I was not allowed to reply to myself...Reggie Bush also had his Heisman Trophy taken away plus there is a case for Ohio State losing their chance at the national championship this year due to punishments from previous years.

      December 11, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  13. snowdogg

    Let them play dirty... it is good for the ratings!

    December 11, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • KFAN8179

      Can't wait until the Vikes have them at home. But unlike the worthless Aint's, Minneisota will actually play fair. But hey all is fair in football huh?

      December 11, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Archyle

    It doesn't matter, the damage has been done and it pretty much gives a lot of credit to the notion that there was more than the "bounty" issue behind this. More like the NfL bigwigs hate new Orleans and want to crush it to keep it from becoming a dynasty.

    December 11, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  15. lewtwo

    The truth is now out ... no sportsmanship in the NFL. The point of the game is to win at all cost and collect the dollars.

    December 11, 2012 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Archyle

      Which is pretty much all it has been for decades. It's not about anything but the money, the sponsorship deals, the tourism dollars, the insanely expensive commercials...everything.

      December 11, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shuffler

      Shocking but true fact. I've about quit NFL show football for the real thing that is College Football.

      December 11, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Justin

      You have teams in the NFL(i.e. Patriots, Steelers, Packers, Saints and several others) where players gladly take less money in order to be a part of. So don't give me that garbage that there's no sportsmanship left.

      December 11, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      If you want a flag football league go create one. Leave football alone, political correctness does not need to apply to everything in America! This is a violent sport and thats what it is supposed to be.

      December 11, 2012 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
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