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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Upholds Penalties Against Head Coach Sean Payton And New Orleans Saints

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell
(Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

After hearing their appeals last Thursday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says he is not lessening disciplinary action he took against the New Orleans Saints, Head Coach Sean Payton and members of the organization.

Payton’s suspension without pay for the 2012 NFL season will begin on April 16. Assistant Coach Joe Vitt’s six-game suspension and General Manager Mickey Loomis’ eight-game suspension without pay will begin at the end of preseason for their roles in the team’s scandal that financially rewarded between 22 and 27 defensive players for targeting certain opponents for injury from 2009 to 2011.  Former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, now with the St. Louis Rams, was suspended indefinitely for spearheading the program.  Williams did not appeal.

When their suspensions are done, the commissioner will review their statuses to determine their eligibility for reinstatement. Goodell says if the New Orleans Saints cooperate with the league in their efforts to promote player safety, he would consider mitigating the financial penalties on those involved.

Friday, former Saints player Steve Gleason says he feels “deflated and disappointed” after the audio of former Saints Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams instructing his players to hurt specific players on the San Francisco 49ers was released last week. Film maker Sean Pamphilon, the man who released the audio to Yahoo Sports, was granted access to the Saints locker room through his project documenting the former Saints special team standout Gleason and his struggles with ALS. Gleason says there was an agreement that he and his family would own the rights to any recordings made of his interaction with the Saints. Gleason says he did not give Pamphilon permission to release the audio.

Goodell also upheld the team’s $500,000 fine and the loss of the team’s next two second round draft picks.

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