|Sean Payton, Mickey Loomis apologize for Saints' Bountygate|
by Aaron Wilson of Scout.com, March 6, 2012 at 6:20 pm ET
Sean Payton Profile
New Orleans Saints general manager Mickey Loomis and coach Sean Payton issued a joint statement apologizing for the Saints' 'Bountygate," a pay-for-pain system where players were rewarded with cash by former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams for punishing hits on opposing players.
"We acknowledge that the violations disclosed by the NFL during their investigation of our club happened under our watch," Loomis and Payton said in breaking their silence for the first time since the NFL announced its findings last week following a lengthy investigation from NFL security officials. "We take full responsibility This has brought undue hardship on Mr. Benson, who had nothing to do with this activity. He has been nothing but supportive and for that we both apologize to him.
"These are serious violations and we understand the negative impact it has had on our game. Both of us have made it clear within our organization that this will never happen again, and make that same promise to the NFL and most importantly to all of our fans."
Despite the embarrassing episode, owner Tom Benson has no plans to fire Payton or Loomis.
The NFL discovered that somewhere between 22 and 27 defensive players were involved in the bounty system.
Williams has admitted his guilt already.
Loomis and Payton allegedly did nothing to stop the bounty system even though Benson told Loomis to shut it down after being informed by the league what was going on.
Williams was hired by the St. Louis Rams as their defensive coordinator, but could face a lengthy suspension and a hefty fine.
He met with NFL security officials Monday.
Reports have surfaced that Williams had a similar system during coaching stints with the Washington Redskins and the Buffalo Bills.
The bounty pool was as high as $50,000.
Benson released the following statement last week:
"I have been made aware of the NFL's findings relative to the "Bounty Rule" and how it relates to our club. I have offered and the NFL has received our full cooperation in their investigation. While the findings may be troubling, we look forward to putting this behind us and winning more championships in the future for our fans."
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