NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday upheld the suspensions of New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton, general manager Mickey Loomis and assistant head coach Joe Vitt for their roles in the team’s bounty scheme, the league announced.
Goodell, who levied the penalties last month, upheld the penalties after consideration of the appeals, the league said.
Payton’s seasonlong suspension will begin April 16, according to the league’s announcement. The eight-game suspension of Loomis and six-game suspension of Vitt will begin after the exhibition season.
All three appealed after they were punished for their roles in the Saints’ bounty program, which awarded defensive players cash payments for hits that injured opponents over the past three seasons. Former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams did not appeal his indefinite suspension. His case will be reviewed after the 2012 season.
The suspensions are without pay, but the league announced that the financial penalties against the three could be reduced based on their cooperation with additional proceedings.
The Saints also appealed their penalties, which included a $500,000 fine and the loss of a pair of second-round draft choices. The Saints’ appeal also was rejected, but the league announced that Goodell might consider modifying the loss of the team’s second-round pick in the 2013 draft.
“The team 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,” the NFL said in a written statement.
The Saints declined to comment.
The Saints have not named an interim coach to replace Payton. But Payton’s former boss in Dallas, Bill Parcells, has been mentioned as a candidate.
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