With appeal hearings to be held on Thursday regarding the penalties imposed so far against the Saints, coach Sean Payton, G.M. Mickey Loomis, and assistant head coach/linebackers coach Joe Vitt, the Louisiana Senate has chimed in on the situation.
According to Ed Anderson of the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the Committee on Senate and Governmental Affairs passed a resolution urging the NFL to reconsider the punishment.
The resolution cites “widespread public opinion throughout the state of Louisiana and beyond that the penalties imposed upon the Saints are too harsh and should be reconsidered.” Though the public opinion beyond Louisiana isn’t necessarily widespread, the penalties are indeed harsh.
Regardless of whether the league will change the discipline imposed, it necessarily will reconsider it. The procedure that the NFL has instituted for matters of this nature gives Commissioner Roger Goodell the authority to punish, and the duty to review the punishment on appeal.
The NFL handles the appeal because, well, it can. But should the NFL take advantage of its supreme bargaining power to force any and every non-player employed by the league and its teams to defer to a process that entails no external oversight? Sure, every business would love to be fully insulated from outside scrutiny, but how can an organization learn from its mistakes if it is never in position to acknowledge them?
I said more stuff about this on Wednesday’s PFT Live.