News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Opinion

January 5, 2013

READERS FORUM: Jan. 5, 2013

Justice will be served

Wow, it sure pays to have a little bit of clout in the NFL.

One of the biggest stories of 2012 was  the “bountygate” scandal of the New Orleans Saints football team. Sean Payton (head coach of Saints) along with assistant coaches Joe Vitt, Defensive Coordinator Gregg Williams and General Manager Mickey Loomis all faced suspensions this year due to the scandal for intentionally putting a bounty on other players in the NFL, i.e. intentionally trying to injure players on the football field.

Now, in the real world, if you intentionally did that to a random person/people, that would be considered assault and battery, which last time I checked you can go to jail for that. So, as far as I’m concerned, Sean Payton and the rest of the enablers in the Saints organization should have spent their suspensions in jail or even prison, without pay of course. Otherwise, it would be a paid vacation, like in such cases where people who have friends in high places would serve their suspensions a.k.a. paid vacations. Or in most people’s cases, if you commit an offense, you go directly to jail and don’t collect $200, etc.

Instead, Sean Payton receives an $8 million dollar a year contract extension from the Saints organization for doing such a disgusting and low and, yes, illegal act.

Unfortunately, this bounty program went on for quite some time and NFL players who were suspended, like Jonathan Vilma, Anthony Hargrove, Scott Fujita and Will Smith (players for the saints who were suspended and later had their suspensions overturned — what a joke by the way), got sent the wrong message that it’s OK to purposely hit players high and low in the head or knees, etc., in order to win a football game.

Now the flood gates will open for future wrongdoers who think they can do illegal acts and get away with it. Even if they get caught, there will be a pretty good chance they would get away with it. Sad, but true. But, in the long run, no matter who you know, or what you know, karma will always come knocking on people like Sean Payton’s door, it’s only a matter of time.

Bottom line, there should be no special treatment for coaches/players in the NFL or anywhere else for that matter, even if somebody like Payton coached at the ever-overrated ISU at one point in his career. Real justice will always prevail no matter how long it takes, no matter who you are. An $8 million dollar a year contract extension for the next few years. Please, what a joke. If justice is anything at all, it’s patient, very patient.  

— Craig Banta

Terre Haute

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