Friday, 13 April 2012 14:46

With uncertainty on the bounty, New Orleans Saints owner entering NBA hornets nest?

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tom benson saintsWith the New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton ready to sit out for one year starting this Monday, with its unsigned franchise quarterback upset with the franchise tag bestowed upon him and with the uncertain stench of Bountygate still in the air  with the next ax to fall upon up to 27 defensive players, its owner, Tom Benson fiddles with a hornets nest of other issues.


Yet, the sale is not a certainty.  According to two reporters for the Times Picayune, Raj Bhathal is also in the running:

This being taking ownership of the city’s NBA franchise, the New Orleans Hornets.

The buzz on the Internet predicts that the announcement comes as early as today. 

jimmysmithtp Jimmy Smith

NOTHING official yet here in New York on #Hornets ownership. #NBA discussing now between Tom Benson. Raj Bhathal bids.

7 minutes ago 

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New Orleans Hornets could have a new owner Friday" >

jimmysmithtp Jimmy Smith

It could be finally D-Day for #Hornets sale in New York. Will it be Bhathal or Tom Benson? May know sometime today

11 hours ago Reply Retweet Favorite Joe Vitt has weathered tough times before.

There are turbulent times ahead for the Saints, but Vitt has experience in handling situations like this.

Vitt will assume the day-to-day duties of head coach Sean Payton after Monday the Saints implemented  the same structure used last season when Payton was recovering from a knee injury.

Although new defensive coordinator Steve Spagunolo has head-coaching experience, he's not as familiar with the team's personnel and Payton's philosophy. Offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael will call plays just like he did last season.

Offensive line coach Aaron Kromer is expected to take over during Vitter's six-game suspension at the start of the regular season.

Back in 2005, Vitt was the assistant head coach and linebackers coach in St. Louis. Rams head coach Mike Martz was feuding with the front office, came down with an illness after five games, and Vitt was elevated to interim coach with the Rams 2-3.

Vitt inherited a team that had injuries piling up and nothing was easy. The Rams went 4-7 under Vitt, but several persons that were associated with the team said Vitt made the most out of a difficult situation.

Vitt wrapped up his tenure-ending victory against the Cowboys, a team that included Payton on its staff. After that, Payton was hired by the Saints, and one of first moves he made was hiring Vitt.

On Monday, will take over the Saints and again it's not an ideal situation by any means, but Vitt has made the most out of tough situations before, and the Saints are counting on him to do it again.

Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins is frustrated, but he doesn't have to be.

Jenkins is frustrated because Saints players haven't had an opportunity to tell their side of the bountygate. But nothing prevents Jenkins or any other player from telling their side of the story now. Plenty of media outlets would welcome an opportunity to talk to Jenkins. Jon Vilma or Will Smith.

But they may not be talking now because the NFLPA has advised them and/or outside legal counsel. The players can disregard that advice and talk if they

really want to tell their side of the story.

"Being a defensive player the most upsetting thing is not really being able to have a voice yet," Jenkins told WWL Radio via . "To hear the media and fans and everything that is going on and hear such stuff said about our character and what type of people we are and not having an opportunity to tell our side of the story is probably the most frustrating thing and we won’t have that opportunity until all the punishment and everything is done.


"But right now we are weathering the storm trying to stay busy and keep our minds off of it. We can't control anything that is going on right now. All we can do is sit and wait and when that time comes we'll have the opportunity to speak our minds and really try to save face, but right now all we can do is focus on what we can and that's being ready for the season and I think guys are excited to start back up on Monday."

SOME hither, others yon: LSU coach Les Miles and former players CB Mo Claiborne, DT Michael Brocker and WR Rueben Randle will be in New York for the NFL Draft April 26-28. The coach will work for NFL Network's broadcast of the draft and the players are expected to be drafted in the first round...The New Orleans Blaze, women's football team, opens it's season on Saturday at the Gulf Coast Riptide. The Blaze's first home game is the following Saturday against the Houston Power. The Blaze plays in the Women's Football Alliance...The Lingerie Football League will shutter its operation until April 2013...

by Ed Staton

(Visit La. Sports Talk for newest LSU Nike gear)

Benson In NYC As Hornets Ownership Decision Nears


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