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Goodell upholds penalties in Saints bounty case

  • FILE - In this July 29, 2011 file photo, New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton, left, talks with general manager Mickey Loomis during NFL football training camp at the team's practice facility, in Metairie, La. A person familiar with the situation says decisions are still pending on a possible appeal of Payton's suspension or an interim coach should his season-long punishment be upheld. The person says Payton, general manager Mickey Loomis and their staffs are in meetings at the team's suburban headquarters and focused primarily on preparations for next month's NFL draft. The person spoke to The Associated Press Thursday, March 209, 2012, on condition of anonymity on Thursday because the Saints have not announced their plans. (AP Photo/Bill Haber, File)

NEW YORK — Sean Payton now knows for certain he won't be coaching in 2012.

And the New Orleans Saints must figure out whether Bill Parcells or someone else is best suited to take over a team seeking its fourth straight trip to the playoffs.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday rejected the Saints' appeals of their unprecedented punishment stemming from the league's investigation of the club's bounty system. The program offered cash bonuses for big hits that knocked targeted opponents out of games or hurt them enough that they required help getting to the sideline.

In addition to upholding Payton's suspension, which begins next Monday and runs through the Super Bowl — in New Orleans next season — Goodell also upheld suspensions of eight games for general manager Mickey Loomis and six games for assistant head coach Joe Vitt, along with a $500,000 fine for the franchise and the loss of second-round draft picks this year and next.

Loomis, who declined comment Monday, and Vitt begin their suspensions after the preseason ends.


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