As published in Sports Business Journal
SBJ/April 9 – 15, 2012/Opinion
Published April 9, 2012/page 18
By Ramsey Poston
When NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced aggressive fines and penalties for the New Orleans Saints and their coaches and executives for a bounty scheme in which players were rewarded for injuring opponents, he was laying the groundwork for the league’s legal defense. Make no mistake; Goodell’s announcement was strategic communications at work and done with a nervous eye toward the league’s legal vulnerabilities.
The NFL revealed recently that its Security Department concluded a “lengthy” investigation determining that players on the New Orleans Saints and its defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, orchestrated a “bounty” program designed to injure opposing players and knock them out of games.
Immediately, the story spread throughout sports-talk radio and online media becoming a hot topic of discussion. Soon it was revealed that similar programs were customary in Washington and Buffalo where Williams also coached.