*(Via WSJ.com) – National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell handed down some of the stiffest penalties in league history Wednesday in the wake of the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal, including an unprecedented one-year suspension of their head coach, Sean Payton.
According to the NFL, the Saints offered additional pay to players who injured opponents with hits that resulted in their being carted off the field or knocked out of the game. The system was administered by coaches, NFL officials have said, with players getting $1,000 for knocking opponents out of games and $1,500 for cart-offs.
Former Saints and current St. Louis Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams absorbed the biggest hit. He received an indefinite suspension and his status won’t be evaluated until after the 2012 season.
In addition, Payton was suspended for the entire 2012 season without pay, while Saints assistant coach Joe Vitt was suspended for six games. General Manager Mickey Loomis was suspended for eight regular-season games and will relinquish his responsibilities beginning April 1.
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