“Speaking from an owners’ perspective, I want to say it could happen to anyone of us and I wouldn’t know.”
Saints coach Sean Payton said he will meet with Bill Parcells about an interim coaching job with the Saints while he is serving his one-season suspension in his first news conference with the media since his suspension was announced,
"Deciding on the interim coach is something Saints owner Mr. (Tom) Benson and GM Mickey Loomis and I will make that decision. Payton said he definitely will resume his coaching job after the suspension.
He said in the next couple of days he will decide if he is going to appeal the NFL's decision to suspend him.
"I've got a lot to do in the next couple of days (before the suspension).
The coach's suspension begins on Saturday. "We have the team's operation planned through the Hall of Fame game.
Loomis and Payton will meet with Parcells, 71, on Tuesday afternoon and discuss the coaching job.
Payton was an assistant coach for Parcells at Dallas before becoming Saints coach in 2006.
"I talk with Bill once a week," said Payton. "He is like a father figure and mentor to me."
Other Payton comments:
* On the two trips to New York I made sure to do overriding in his power to answer questions honestly.
* Has had no contact with former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams over the last four weeks.
* To his knowledge the Saints never had a price for seriously injuring an opposing player.
* He has been surprised by the amount of support he is receiving for the New Orleans community. The guys I'm close to in the league, our players, our fans, coaches from other teams, it's like a family. Those are the things that get you through something like this.
interest in Parcells to replace him for a year.”
Former Saints linebacker Scott Fujita, now with the Browns, was a linebacker for New Orleans in 2009. He has admitted to the media he made contributions to a pay-for-performance pool with the team in 2009. A source told to Sports Illustrated that Fujita and two other defensive players contributed between $2,000 and $10,000 to the performance/bounty pool the Saints defenders ran in 2009.
Fujita last month told SI he never funded a pool for players to try injure another player. "Over the years, I've paid out a lot of money for big plays like interceptions, sacks and special teams tackles inside the 20-yard line but I've never made a payment for intentionally injuring another player."
Had Coach Sean Payton and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams admitted to the bounties in 2010 and stopped the program then, the franchise would have gotten away from the cries with a slap of the wrist. Sure, they would have been fined a few hundred thousand dollars, and Williams might have been suspended for a game or two.
Payton and GM Mickey Loomis denied having a bounty program for the next two years and that was a serious rseponse to NFL questions concerning the bounty programs.
Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a message to the Saints: "Don't have bounties, but more important, "Don't lie to us."
The league didn't want to discover the bounty system in 2010. And the NFL hoped the Saints were smart enough to stop.
After all, the punishment exposed could end up hurting the league a lot more than the Saints.
Former Saints cornerback Tracy Porter, now with the Broncos, denies the bounty program ever existed.
"It's something the league felt they had evidence, but the thing I will say about it is: the whole label of bounty is absorb." Porter told the Denver Post. "There was definitely no bounty on any player out there in any game. We were just playing football.
A mind-boggling take on the subject.
Sean Payton was suspended for a year and Mickey Loomis is out for eight games. Williams is en route to Siberia. Player penalties are forthcoming.
Peter King of SI reported it was not uncommon for Williams to stand in front of the room during defensive team meetings, passing out cash-filled white envelopes to Saints defenders. How did Porter miss this?
"For that term to become bounty is definitely, I think, is harsh, but the league investigated it and they felt they made the right decision," said Porter. "Who am I to come in and say that they didn't make the right decision."
In this case, it probably would have been better if Porter hadn't said anything at all.
The Final Four, those champions of their regional divisions, will battle in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for a place in the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Championship Game.
Among those trying to get to the National Championship Game remain s only one of the No.1 seeds, Kentucky, coming out of the South Region. No.4 Louisville, the lowest seed left in the tourney, made its way out of the West Region of the bracket. Those two cross-state powerhouses will meet in the first of the National Semifinals games on Saturday at 7:09 p.m. (CST).
At 9:49 p.m. two No. 2 seeds will go head-to-head. Kansas, representing the Midwest, and Ohio State, the champion of the East.
The Championship Game will be contested on Monday night in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, which could attract 73,000, a Championship Game record
by Ed Staton
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