Wed March 21, 2012
Former Buffalo Bills coach suspended by NFL for "bounty" program
Former Buffalo Bills head coach Gregg Williams has been place on indefinite suspension by the National Football League for his participation in a bounty program while he served as a defensive coordinator of the New Orleans Saints.
The NFL announced the penalties Wednesday. New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton will be suspended for one season without pay for his involvement in the team’s bounty program.
"We are all accountable and responsible for player health and safety and the integrity of the game," Commissioner Goodell said. "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."
Saints general manager Mickey Loomis has also been suspended for eight games. The team has also been fined 500-thousand dollars and will have to give up is second-round picks in the 2012—2013- NFL drafts. Involvement of the players in the program is still being reviewed.
"A combination of elements made this matter particularly unusual and egregious," Commissioner Goodell continued. "When there is targeting of players for injury and cash rewards over a three-year period, the involvement of the coaching staff, and three years of denials and willful disrespect of the rules, a strong and lasting message must be sent that such conduct is totally unacceptable and has no place in the game."
Williams was hired by the St. Louis Rams earlier this year to serve as defensive coordinator. Commissioner Goodell will review his status.
Williams had previously apologized for the "bounty" system that he established during his time with the New Orleans Saints.