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Kristian Garic

Talk sports and more with Kristian and Seth Dunlap on "Double Coverage!" 

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Twitter: @kristiangaric
Email: kristian@wwl.com

Kristian: What would you do with the Saints if you were the commissioner?

"Bounty Gate" has rocked the NFL and the New Orleans Saints.  Former Saints Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams is in New York today to meet with league officials to delve deeper into the scandal.  The league is trying to determine if Williams implemented other systems to pay players under the table to hurt opponents in his previous coaching stops in Washington, Tennessee, Buffalo and Jacksonville. 

Big trouble is on the horizon for the Saints and Williams.  In my opinion, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell potentially faces his biggest challenge and controversy as the leader of the best league in pro sports. 

Here is what we know:  Gregg Williams admitted to "pay for performance" transgressions.  He admitted to setting up the bounty system in New Orleans.  The NFL says that Coach Sean Payton and General Manager Mickey Loomis knew about the system.  However, if you're the commissioner, you have to look at the entire league.  This is a systemic problem. 

While you can make the argument that this bounty system has been in place for years, don't make the argument that it's not a big deal because it's been around the NFL for so long.  If you believe that, I question how much you care about the National Football League.  The NFL has the greatest game on the planet.  Period!  I want it played with great integrity and passion.  Just because something has been going on for years, does not mean the Saints were forced into installing the tactic.  The Saints, and other teams, knowingly violated league rules.  What are the consequences of the violations?  Well that's up to commissioner Roger Goodell. 

What would you do if you were the commissioner?

If I were Goodell, I would first and foremost open a league wide investigation to determine just how widespread the problem is in the NFL.  If it's as wide spread as we think, it might make the punishment more difficult and cumbersome. 

Let's take a look at each party involved...

Gregg Williams:  He's already admitted to conducting the bounty system during his three seasons with the Saints.  Unconfirmed reports have Williams executing similar schemes in his previous coaching stops.  How cooperative has he been with the league?  If he expresses remorse and cooperation, the punishment might be less severe for Williams.  If I'm the commissioner, I give Williams 1 year off at the minimum.  I also consider making him pay a hefty fine.  Goodell could hammer Williams with a multi-year suspension and be justified in doing so.

Saints Organization:  The penalties hear could be extremely painful.  Considering the totality of it all, I would smack the Saints with a $2 million fine, and force them to forfeit a 1st and 3rd round pick in 2013.

Mickey Loomis:  According to investigation released by the NFL, the Saints general manager had knowledge of the Bounty Gate scandal and reportedly made an attempt to lie to the commissioner during the initial investigation.  It's never good to lie to Goodell.  Mike Vick lied and paid a dear price.  Not to mention, Loomis is a "team administrator" considered by the league as "one of us."  If I'm the commissioner, I give Loomis a hefty fine and a 1 year suspension as well.  I know he didn't implement the plan, but he's accountable as the organization's GM and executive vice president. 

Sean Payton:  The NFL says Payton had knowledge of the bounty program, but did nothing to stop it.  He's the leader of the team, it was his coach  - who he hired - allegedly implementing this program.  I say it's an 8 game suspension for Payton, coupled with a fine of $300,000. 

We'll likely find out the punishment from the commissioner on or before March 25th at the league owners' meetings. It's going to be sever in all likelihood. 

What would you do if you were the commissioner?  Sound off below...

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Topics : Sports
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Locations : BuffaloJacksonvilleNew OrleansNew YorkTennesseeWashington
People : Gregg WilliamsMickey LoomisMike VickRoger GoodellSean Payton

03/05/2012 9:19AM
Kristian: What would you do with the Saints if you were the commissioner?
Please Enter Your Comments Below
03/05/2012 9:58AM
Fed up
This is totally ridiculous. This is not an isolated practice which is being followed by one team or coaching staff. If the Saints are to be singled out for severe punishment then it would be best to just suspend all team activities for next season, including games. How are they supposed to compete without a head coach or general manager and over 20 defensive players. If the Saints are to be punished so should every other team which Greg Williams has used the bounty system with. If you watch NFL games it is obvious from the vicious hits throughout every game that this is a league wide problem. Teams should not be punished for past infractions but the rules and punishment for future infractions should be clearly defined with severe penalties inflicted for infractions.
03/05/2012 10:18AM
It is Posturing by NFL and Goodell
If there was a bounty, Please show me on tape where we hit someone illegally and they got carted off? I did not see it this year or last. The biggest profile players was during the 2009 Playoffs with Bounties on Farve and Warner. The hits they were hit on were good hard hits that did not draw a flag. This year we could barely tackle much less have a "cart off" hit. There should be some consequences but nothing much more severe than Spygate. This is posturing by NFL and Goodell because there is a lawsuit by ex players about injuries and the NFL can cover themselves by making an example of the Saints.
03/05/2012 11:18AM
National Flag League
Obviously somebody is angry they didnt get paid. It Happens all over sports. This league is hfar from the league i grew up watching., I say a fine but nothing more serious. If thats the case, fine every team in the league
03/05/2012 12:16PM
Severe Penalties
Both Payton and Loomis should face large fines and be suspended at least half a season, although I would not be upset if Mr.Benson fired them both for insubordination. The team should pay by the forfiture of multiple draft picks. The players should be disiplined as well and Williams should be suspended at least a year, if not for life. This was the height of arrogance and should not be tolerated.
03/05/2012 1:17PM
Kristian, use your spellcheck
If I were the commissioner I would fine you 1 million dollars & suspend you for 1 year for not knowing how to spell & then being too stupid (or lazy) not to have someone edit your copy. It's hard to take your opinions seriously when I am laughing at your constant bloopers.
03/05/2012 1:47PM
The league should mete out the same team punishment for any team that Williams coached for, and any other team in which they have used bounties. Somehow, I think, that's not going to happen. Williams should be suspended for a year. Loomis should be suspended for a year and I wouldn't be suprised if Mr. Benson fired him. Payton should be suspended for the first four games and pay a fine. Vilma should be suspended for 8 games. Actually, the entire defense that was on the field against Seattle in the playoffs should be suspended for the season, as they clearly stole someone's money.
03/05/2012 2:14PM
OK - Go for a Boycott
If the Saints are going to be singled out with suspensions to the "Front Office" and Head Coach, the Saints should simply “SUSPEND” the Season and Re-Shape the entire team for 2013!!! Fines – PROBABLY (Along with probably every other NFL Team) ... Suspensions – NO! Suspensions to Sean Payton and/or Nicky Loomis would ensure not only a loss of the Saints being a Playoff Contender but a severe and unjustified punishment to the entire fan base! I highly recommend that the “Communist” investigate the entire League for similar transgressions prior to handing out any punishment to the Saints organization
03/05/2012 2:18PM
Seems like going way out to keep the Saints from being in the Super Bowl in our super Dome......
03/05/2012 2:32PM
needs to be a widespread investigation
OK, NFL.... you opened this can of worms, now deal with it equitably & appropriately. Investigate all 32 teams & do it as thoroughly as you did the last 3 yrs on the Saints. I agree, wrong is wrong, & rules are rules, regardless of who is doing it. But don't use the Saints as the poster boys of the so-called scandal. The NFL thought they were going to make themselves look good in court with the former player lawsuits by being heavy handed on this. It's not an isolated case & one team should not bear the brunt of it.
03/05/2012 2:43PM
This is a way for the NFL to assure themselves that the Saints do not make it to the Super Bowl being that it's in New Orleans this year! If the Super Bowl was in any other city this year this matter would have never reared it's ugly head. Example: Super Bowl was in Indy & Manning is out for the season!
03/05/2012 3:42PM
Saints Fan always and FOREVER!!!!!
PUT ON YOUR BIG BOXERS ON BOYS AND GIRLS don’t believe the hype Yeah I’m disappointed in my boyz, but at the same time I have mixed feelings. Why because they willingly broke the established rules by offering payments. The payment issue is what I see wrong with this picture. But on the other hand, in a sport as competitive and physical as football that’s the object of the game to physical dominate the opponent. Taking each other out is the rule these guys play by, ironically that mentality is how they protect themselves. Even at the pee wee level it is drilled into kids to hit opponents as hard as they can within the rules. The goal is and will always be to break the will of your opponent within the rules of a sport that can not be played any other way. The NFL was built on that premise, as it appeals to our primal instinct. It is a blood sport by nature. I don’t wish anyone harm but at the end of the day the NFL and player’s eyes are wide open to the potential dangers. That’s a risk they take. Now because of health liabilities and pending litigations the NFL is trying to find a neutral position. Any given Sunday when the day’s highlights are shown what do we see…..the hard hits and even more the ill-legal ones, if the NFL feels so strongly about ill-legal hits they should stop showing them to promote the game. So now they get the best of both worlds, they fine players (get money) and the still promote the hits (more money). Sounds like a good pimping job. I take the position that the NFL can really care less about the majority minority player’s health….all they care about really are the returns on their investors (team owners/networks) money. The good ol boys get all stirred up when their prime top percent investments (quarterbacks) are at risk, pretty soon the red jersey will be on quarterbacks on Sunday’s too. But for the others in the field they can give a rat’s A. It’s all about the Benjamin’s its Capitalism at its best Dexter R.
03/05/2012 3:46PM
Don't Suspend Anybody
Those coaches from the other teams are flat out lying that they didn't know about it. Fine maybe, draft picks maybe, suspension of anybody but GW is way over the top. All day long players have been on ESPN saying that they participated on other teams. You are basically asking the coach and GM to control a back room poker game. This ain't church or politics, it's freakin entertainment.
03/05/2012 3:51PM
03/05/2012 4:19PM
Ditka Bet a Hundred $$
Who remembers Mike Ditka handing DC Zaven Yaralian a hundred dollar bill as he walked off the field against the Raiders during his first year as Saints coach. Iron Mike bet the DC that the Saints couldn't stop a Tim Brown over the middle play thathad eaten them up all game. They finally stopped it and won the game. Ditka bounty!
03/05/2012 4:24PM
I thought that is what all defensive players were paid to do? Take out the opponent.
03/05/2012 4:33PM
Article needs Proofing
It's "severe", not "sever", and "here, not "hear"...... Your sixth grade grammar teacher wouldn't let you get away with this carelessness.
03/05/2012 11:21PM
Don't Penalize Saints Fans
Severely fine those players and coaches involved. Don't penalize the fans and city by taking away draft choices that will hurt this team's prospects of winning in the future.
03/06/2012 1:56AM
Who Dat?
First of all, where is the proof that money was actually paid? Unless someone was taped offering to pay for these hits then you have no case. It seems as though this is surfacing just in time to knock the Saints out of the Superbowl that will be playedin it's backyard. Like Washington DC, too many regulations! The League needs to let these men play ball and take the d*mn skirts off the players.
03/06/2012 2:48AM
Put every player in the Probowl!
Goodell should make the rules to every regular season game like the Probowl. That way there would be very few safety issues. While we are here, why not make the Probowl an all weekend long event with a total of 31 games. This would be a single elimination tournament involving all 32 teams.
03/06/2012 9:41AM
Hard to believe!
If the ruling in fact finds them guilty of attempting to hurt players and rewarding them for that, something should be done. It is hard for me to believe that the amount of money that was rewarded would enhance these athletes to go on the field and risk getting fined 20 times the amount or even loosing a $150,000 game check for a possible suspension for a $1,000 to $1,500 bounty reward. We have to remember $1,000 to a professional athlete is like $30 to an average household.
03/06/2012 10:48AM
It's Sticker Money
You can't put stickers on the NFL helmet. A couple of Benjamins is the Pro Athlet's version of a sticker. Who's doing the rewarding? It appears this money is coming from a player pool. If management provided the money only then should any coach or team official be suspended. Physically punishing an opponent on the field within the rules is part of the game. Illegal hits are penalized. Watch any regular season or playoff game between the Ravens and Steelers and the Saints pounding on Farve and Warner in 2009 looks like child's play.
03/06/2012 1:04PM
Goodell can't think this is an isolated practice
This has been going on probably since the NFL was organized in one way or another. Let's see each team investigated in the same way the Saints were and watch the results. Then the NFL will have to field all new teams. Take the helmet to helmet policy, if the League was truly trying to protect players it would apply to every helmet to helmet hit (example- the helmet to helmet hit on Pierre Thomas in the SF game). Step up Goodell let's see a full investigation!!!
03/06/2012 5:11PM
Equal Punishment ?
All of these players some now retired are saying how widespread these actions are in the NFL. So how is it that Roger Goodell thinks he is going to punish the Saints more severly than anyone else who has admittedly done the same thing. Somehow this seems totally unfair. Suspension of players & coaches is ridiculous! How are you going to suspend someone who is retired from the NFL? Punishment MUST BE EQUAL & FAIR !!!! The Saints should not be punished more than anyone else.Slap on the fines GOODELL & call it a day ! Ban Gregg Williams from coaching in the NFL ....problem solved !!!! I LOVE MY SAINTS
03/06/2012 5:30PM
Wienie Gate starring BRETT FAVRE ?
Speaking of player indiscretions...... What punishment was ever given to Brett Lil Man (Ha Ha) Favre? I don't ever recall hearing anything about Mr Goodell's findings in the Wienie Gate Scandal starring Brett Favre. I guess CSI wasn't available to check out the forensic evidence!! Would love a call back on this ROGER ######
03/06/2012 5:51PM
Local Media Embarrassing !!!
It's bad enough the Saints ALWAYS get bashed by outside Media, but for local Media to make such harsh statements about what punishments they think the NFL should give the Saints is absurd . It should be nothing more than some heavy fines equal for every player, former & current. That money should then go into an account for all these players sueing the NFL for injuries to help cover their medical expenses. Lawsuits dropped... Medical bills paid... END OF STORY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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