22 Mar 2012

Severe penalties for New Orleans "bounty" schemes

8:28 am on 22 March 2012

New Orleans Saints' Super Bowl-winning head coach Sean Payton has been suspended for a year without pay by the National Football League after an investigation into 'bounty' schemes which rewarded players for hurting opponents.

The NFL's statement also detailed the indefinite suspension of the former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, and a $US500,000 fine for the team who will forfeit their selections in the second round of the 2012 and 2013 NFL drafts.

According to the league's probe, Williams collected money from players throughout the season, to be paid out as a reward for 'big hits' and plays which took opponents out of the game.

The NFL has yet to decide punishments for players involved in the scheme.