Commissioner Roger Goodell has upheld the discipline in the Bounty-gate scandal, according to Albert Breer of NFL Network. Breer did mention, however, that the financial penalties enforced as part of the discipline could be reduced. But, the damage has been done and Saints head coach Sean Payton will be suspended for one year, and general manager Mickey Loomis will face an eight-game suspension.
The punishment clearly shows how much power the commissioner’s office holds. Right from the start, there was a slim, slim chance that these suspensions would be reversed, or at least reduced. Clearly, this goes as one of the more extreme punishments handed out by Goodell, and he clearly wanted to send a message to all teams.
The New Orleans Saints franchise will suffer greatly from this. The team will be in disarray beginning on April 16th, which is when Payton’s suspension starts. There is no doubt that the on-field play of the Saints will be affected by the loss of their head coach. Moreover, the Saints still have to negotiate with quarterback Drew Brees about a possible new deal, and valuable time will be lost because Mickey Loomis will not be able to negotiate for the first eight weeks of the 2012 season.
All in all, this was sheer abuse of power by Goodell, who wasn’t contested on this issue in any way, as he was the one who handed out this suspension and heard the appeals. Harsh punishments like this one show us in who’s hands the power in the NFL lies.
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