NFL upholds Saints' suspensions

NFL upholds Saints' suspensions
April 9, 2012, 5:54 pm
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NEW YORK (AP) NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has rejected the appeals of coach Sean Payton and other New Orleans Saints officials stemming from the league's probe into the club's bounty system.After hearing from Payton, general manager Mickey Loomis and assistant head coach Joe Vitt last week, Goodell decided Monday to uphold his initial sanctions, which include Payton's suspension for the entire 2012 season. That penalty begins April 16.RELATED: Maiocco -- Culture change should ensue
The NFL released this statement:

"The New Orleans Saints, along with General Manager Mickey Loomis, Head Coach Sean Payton, and Assistant Head Coach Joe Vitt, were notified today that after careful consideration of their appeals, Commissioner Roger Goodell has upheld the discipline that was imposed for continuing violations of the league's anti-bounty rule that endangered player safety over a three-year period.
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The club and the individuals will be expected to cooperate in any further proceedings and to assist in the development and implementation of programs to instruct players and coaches at all levels on principles of player safety, fair play, and sportsmanship.If they embrace the opportunity and participate in a constructive way, Commissioner Goodell said he would consider mitigating the financial penalties on the individuals. In the case of the team, the commissioner would consider whether there are factors that would support modifying the forfeiture of the team's 2013 second-round draft choice.Sean Paytons suspension without pay for the 2012 NFL season will begin on April 16.The suspensions without pay of Mickey Loomis for eight games and Joe Vitt for six games will begin at the end of the preseason.

RELATED: Gregg Williams' pregame speech instructed Saints to injure 49ersAt the conclusion of their suspensions, the commissioner will review the status of each of the three individuals to determine their eligibility for reinstatement."
The Saints now must find an interim coach from candidates including top assistants as well as retired coach Bill Parcells.Suspensions of eight games for Loomis and six games for Vitt will begin when the preseason ends. Also upheld were the team's 500,000 fine and loss of second-round draft picks this year and next.Goodell says he would consider lowering the financial penalties, and "modifying the forfeiture" of the 2013 draft pick.
NFL media services contributed to this report

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