For the New Orleans Saints, the hits just keep on coming.
Following the revelation of the bounty scandal that cost Sean Payton a season, general manager Mickey Loomis an eight-game suspension and the looming punishments to be handed down for the players involved, now comes a whole new scandal.
According to reports at ESPN, the Louisiana state police and the FBI are looking into allegations that Mickey Loomis wiretapped the communications capabilities of opposing coaches playing at the Superdome. If true, Loomis not only broke NFL rules prohibiting the use of communications technology to gain a competitive advantage, but he also may have violated both state and federal laws.
Some people look at this case and make jokes about the apparent ineffectiveness of the wiretapping because of the home-field struggles of the Saints during the seasons the alleged tapping occurred. Others dismiss the allegations because they don't see how Loomis could have quickly relayed the information from his suite to the Saints' coaches in time for them to make use of it.
Both of these positions miss the salient point here, which is that Loomis knowingly broke the rules to gain a competitive advantage. Whether or not your cheating ultimately proves to be successful is irrelevant. Cheating is cheating, whether or not it helps you win.
The rules are in place to ensure that everyone has a fair chance when the games are played. Everyone has the same chance to win or lose without the rules being stacked in favor of one side or the other. What Loomis did blatantly violated the rules of the game and brought the integrity of the games into question.
It would seem that the Saints would be wise to relieve Mr. Loomis of his position as general manager of the team. I'm not usually one of those people who cry for others to lose their jobs, but in Loomis's case, I am making an exception. The allegations against him in this matter and his culpability in covering up the bounty system after the NFL's alerting him to it show a serious lack of character and judgment.
Loomis seems to have an attitude that would have fit right in with the old Southwest Conference in the 1980's. This was the conference that saw myriad NCAA violations among its members, including the infamous death penalty handed down to the SMU football program.
The league's unofficial motto was "If you ain't cheating, you ain't trying," and Loomis seems to have adopted it for the Saints organization. That is an attitude that cannot be accepted in the NFL.
The time may have finally come for the Saints to part ways with Loomis and start rebuilding their tattered reputation.