Well, the NFL, via its media website, has announced that the one-year suspension levied by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, as well as the penalties are the Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis, and Assistant Head Coach Joe Vitt, were upheld without change.
But, Payton did get two extra weeks to be the Saints’ Head Coach, since the suspension now starts April 16th, and not April 1st.
That officially nixes any rumored celebration of an expected reduction in the suspension by Commissioner Roger Goodell. But financial penalties may be reduced – currently, Coach Payton loses $5.8 million this year.
Here’s the NFL’s release:
DISCIPLINE UPHELD IN SAINTS BOUNTY MATTER;
FINANCIAL PENALTIES FOR INDIVIDUALS COULD BE REDUCED
The New Orleans Saints, along with General Manager Mickey Loomis, Head Coach Sean Payton, and Assistant Head Coach Joe Vitt, were notified today that after careful consideration of their appeals, Commissioner Roger Goodell has upheld the discipline that was imposed for continuing violations of the league’s anti-bounty rule that endangered player safety over a three-year period.
The club and the individuals will be expected to cooperate in any further proceedings and to assist in the development and implementation of programs to instruct players and coaches at all levels on principles of player safety, fair play, and sportsmanship.
If they embrace the opportunity and participate in a constructive way, Commissioner Goodell said he would consider mitigating the financial penalties on the individuals. In the case of the team, the commissioner would consider whether there are factors that would support modifying the forfeiture of the team’s 2013 second-round draft choice.
Sean Payton’s suspension without pay for the 2012 NFL season will begin on April 16.
The suspensions without pay of Mickey Loomis for eight games and Joe Vitt for six games will begin at the end of the preseason.
At the conclusion of their suspensions, the commissioner will review the status of each of the three individuals to determine their eligibility for reinstatement.
The NFL action also means that the leak of what Greg Williams said to the Saints defense arguably had a role in the Commissioner’s final decision.