I know we don't really like to talk about it that much, but Baylor should probably be glad NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was not on the NCAA Committee on Infractions in 2003 or 2004 because he just handed down possibly the worst sanctions in NFL history to the New Orleans Saints for BountyGate. Not content with allowing the Saints to take over and dominate the NFL news world for the rest of the day, the Denver Broncos have traded QB Tim Tebow to the New York Jets for a fourth-round pick. To say that this has been a crazy morning for football news would be a pretty incredible understatement.
Here is a rundown of the currently-known punishments to the Saints organization for BountyGate. Other punishments are expected to be announced for the individual players involved. This is from the ESPN story I linked above.
• The New Orleans Saints are fined $500,000. In addition, because the violation involves a competitive rule, the Saints will forfeit their selections in the second round of the 2012 and 2013 NFL drafts.
• Saints coach Sean Payton is suspended without pay for the 2012 NFL season, effective April 1.
• Saints general manager Mickey Loomis is suspended without pay for the first eight regular-season games of the 2012 season.
• Former Saints (and current St. Louis Rams) defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is suspended indefinitely from the NFL, effective immediately. Commissioner Goodell will review Coach Williams' status at the conclusion of the 2012 season and consider whether to reinstate him, and, if so, on what terms. Commissioner Goodell said he will give close attention to the extent to which Coach Williams cooperates with the NFL in any further proceedings.
• Saints assistant head coach Joe Vitt is suspended without pay for the first six regular-season games of the 2012 season.
Oh, and in case you were wondering about when Roger Goodell might be forced to make his next trip to New Orleans, where he will almost definitely be persona non grata? The 2013 Super Bowl, which will be played in the Superdome on February 3, 2013. That should be fun.