By Anthony Brown ‘12 | Sports Editor
The NFL community is buzzing over the latest news of the New Orlean Saints conducting a bounty program on individual players of opposing teams. Greg Williams, former defensive coordinator of the New Orlean Saints, Washington Redskins and Buffalo Bills, was suspended indefinitely by the NFL after it was found out that he held a bounty program with the teams he was employed with.
However, the Saints organization should not be the only one in the hot seat. I believe the idea of a bounty program, which in context is paying defensive players an extra bonus for injuring key players on opposing teams, is wrong and it takes away from the game of football as a whole. Giving players money to intentionally hurt others who work hard every day to play a game they love, also sacrificing time away from their families, is another issue compared with malicious intent. NFL players don’t need the bonus, since they already get enough money for playing the sport — which I already don’t believe they should, because salary should be based on player performance. Gregg Williams got the sentence he deserved and although he was a great defensive coordinator, that did not give him the right to give his players a bonus for hurting other players intentionally or even starting the program to begin with.
Sean Payton, coach of the New Orlean Saints has to suffer a one-year suspension from the NFL as a result of the league finding out about the bounty program. It was reported around the league that Williams conducted this program with not only the New Orlean Saints but both the Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins, which basically gives the notion that if he was going to conduct it with one organization, he was going to do it with others.
I truly was a fan of Williams when he was the Defensive Coordinator for the Redskins and believed he should’ve been head coach for the team at one point, but this news totally changed my opinion of him because this puts the Saints organization and the NFL collectively in a bad light. I was just surprised Gregg Williams was able to keep this going for as long as he did without the league finding out. This news also hurts the St. Louis Rams organization as well because they hired him as their Defensive Coordinator in the 2012-2013 off-season, but now that position will be empty and they have to go back to the drawing board.
The players who participated in this program are also to blame as well because yes, they would be getting paid extra money under the table, but it’s their responsibility as players and most importantly as men to uphold a standard of integrity and right judgment because they are trashing the reputation of the NFL and the game of football in general. Ultimately, there are so many people to blame for what has gone on, but as long the people in charge of the operation were reprimanded, that’s all that matters. It’s unfortunate however that Gregg Williams was not caught when he first started the program because then I don’t believe it would’ve been as big of an issue as it is now.