Five days after the New Orleans Saints were accused of implementing a bounty program from 2009 through 2011 under defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, two of the principal figures embroiled in the scandal have issued a statement.
The Saints released the statement below, which is attributed to head coach Sean Payton and GM Mickey Loomis.
We acknowledge that the violations disclosed by the NFL during their investigation of our club happened under our watch. We take full responsibility.
This has brought undue hardship on Mr. Benson, who had nothing to do with this activity. He has been nothing but supportive and for that we both apologize to him.
These are serious violations and we understand the negative impact it has had on our game. Both of us have made it clear within our organization that this will never happen again, and make that same promise to the NFL and most importantly to all of our fans.
Mickey Loomis & Sean Payton
It's been reported that Payton and Loomis have the support of Saints owner Tom Benson, despite the NFL's findings that neither Payton nor Loomis made attempts to stop the bounty program. The league will likely issue harsh discipline to both Payton and Loomis sometime before the end of March. Some have speculated that the league's penalty could include a fine and a multi-game suspension.
SB Nation's YouTube channel recently touched on the Saints investigation.