Saints players, coaches part of bounty scandal
The New Orleans Saints could be hit with severe penalties from the NFL after the revelation of a bounty scandal that occurred between 2009 and 2011.
Defensive players were awarded for hits that resulted in opponent injuries. The bounty pool was reported to be as high as $50,000 in 2009, the year in which the Saints won the Super Bowl. Players were awarded $1,500 for “knockouts” and $1,000 for “cart-offs.”
The NFL said between 22 and 27 defensive players were involved and the program was administered by defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, now with the St. Louis Rams, with the knowledge of head coach Sean Payton.Neither Payton nor general manager Mickey Loomis took any action to stop the program even after being told to do so by team owner Tom Benson.
The scandal comes in an NFL era in which league commissioner Roger Goodell has been known for changing the rules of the game to prevent player injuries. Goodell said there will be proceedings to determine any potential discipline against the team and the individuals involved.
Kentucky on top as Madness approaches
With just a few days remaining before Selection Sunday, Kentucky sits at No. 1 in the men’s basketball Coaches Poll and Syracuse is No. 2. Both teams are at an impressive 30-1 on the season and will be battling this week for the overall No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Kentucky went 16-0 in the SEC while Syracuse went 17-1 in the Big East.
The Big East Championship began Tuesday, and the SEC tournament starts Thursday
The four No. 1 seeds could be four of the most storied programs in college history — Kentucky, Syracuse, Kansas and North Carolina. Kansas and North Carolina hold the No. 3 and 4 rankings in the poll, respectively.
Right now, ESPN “bracketologist” Joe Lunardi has Northwestern, Seton Hall, Xavier, Texas, Tennessee, Oregon, North Carolina State, Miami, Iona, Arizona and Saint Joseph’s on the bubble. The first round of the tournament will begin on Tuesday.
Kenseth emerges at wild Daytona raceMatt Kenseth won his second Daytona 500 Monday night in a race that will be remembered for a long time because of several serious wrecks. Numerous cars were wiped from the field after a wreck on the second lap, including Jimmie Johnson and Danica Patrick.A scary situation occurred when Juan Pablo Montoya, who was driving alone under caution, spun out of control and collided with a safety truck, causing an explosion. The truck was carrying 200 gallons of jet fuel. Montoya said his helmet was singed, but otherwise no one was hurt. The wreck caused two-hour. The race had already been postponed due to severe weather on Sunday and Monday.Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished second, Greg Biffle third, Denny Hamlin fourth and Jeff Burton fifth. Paul Menard, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Joey Logano and Mark Martin rounded out the top 10.