New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton was suspended without pay for the 2012 season by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, and former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was banned indefinitely on Wednesday because the team’s players were paid bounties for big hits on opponents from 2009-11.
The NFL said it is the first time the league has suspended a head coach. The explanation for Payton’s ban indicates he tried to cover up what the Saints were doing.
According to the NFL, Payton ignored instructions from the league and Saints ownership to make sure bounties weren’t being paid. The league also chastised him Wednesday for choosing to “falsely deny that the program existed,” and for attempting to “encourage the false denials by instructing assistants to `make sure our ducks are in a row.'”