The bounty scandal surrounding the New Orleans Saints has taken another twist, and former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is now pointing fingers at current interim head coach Joe Vitt.
ESPN notes that the Associated Press obtained transcripts from the appeals hearings that led to former commissioner Paul Tagliabue overturning the suspensions that were placed on several Saints players. The report stated the following:
According to the transcripts, Williams said that then-assistant Vitt responded to a suggestion that the pay-for-pain setup be abandoned with an obscenity-filled speech about how NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell "wasn't going to ... tell us to ... stop doing what won us the Super Bowl. This has been going on in the ... National Football League forever, and it will go on here forever, when they run (me) out of there, it will still go on."
The report also notes that the transcripts contain vehement denials from Vitt about claims made in testimony from Williams and former New Orleans defensive assistant Mike Cerullo. It states, “Offering to take a lie detector test, Vitt challenged versions given by Williams and Cerullo. Vitt vowed to sue Cerullo and described Williams as ‘narcissistic.’”
This news serves as a reminder that many of the issues surrounding the Saints bounty scandal are far from resolved. While Tagliabue’s decision will keep Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith, Scott Fujita and Anthony Hargrove on the field, the ESPN report notes that only Fujita was cleared of “conduct detrimental to the league.”
Vilma will still go forward with a defamation lawsuit against commissioner Roger Goodell, as the Associated Press notes (via Yahoo! Sports).
With the reputations of Goodell, as well as the Saints players and coaches, all on the line in this saga, the courtroom battles surrounding the bounty scandal are sure to produce more headlines going forward.