Sean Payton banned from all NFL contact
New Orleans Saints’ Sean Payton is not allowed to have any contact with the Saints organization or anyone around the NFL, according to the terms of his season-long suspension for his involvement in the Saints’ bounty program. If Payton does have any contact with anyone from the NFL, he must report it to league executive Ray Anderson, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter. Payton will not be allowed to have any contact with any player, coach, executive, or friends around the league until the day after the 2013 Super Bowl, when his suspension is scheduled to end. Payton is suspended because the NFL’s investigation found that he lied about the existence of a bounty program and instructed his defensive assistants to lie too. The Saints have already been fined $50,000 and have had two second-round draft picks taken away. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is also expected to soon punish all Saints player that were involved in the bounty program.
Alabama’s BCS Trophy shattered
The University of Alabama Coaches’ Trophy from this season’s BCS National Championship was shattered on Saturday afternoon following the Crimson Tide’s annual A-day scrimmage. The trophy was accidentally knocked off its podium and shattered by a player’s father whose foot got caught on a rug that sits beneath the trophy display. The trophy was on display in the Crimson Tide’s athletic facility, home to Coach Nick Saban’s office. It was an unfortunate accident, but a university spokesperson confirmed that they will immediately begin the process of repairing the trophy. The Coaches’ Trophy is homemade and sculptured in Ireland. It is valued at $30,000.
Ozzie Guillen returns from suspension
Miami Marlins’manager Ozzie Guillen turned heads and made national headlines for his comments in support of former Cuban President Fidel Castro several days ago, causing uproar in the heavily Cuban populated city of Miami and resulting in a five game suspension. Guillen returned to his managerial duties Tuesday, but understands that five days and multiple apologies have not yet gotten him out of the hot water he created. The Venezuelan-born manager recently told Time Magazine “I expect to resolve this problem with acts.” The outspoken former Chicago White Sox skipper told Time that he was excited to be back with his team and was proud what the coaching staff and players accomplished in his absence. The Marlins went 2-3 without Guillen. Later in the interview with the magazine, Guillen stated “I don’t think I’m going to change, but obviously talking about some issues that are not my business – I’m going to learn from that.”
NFL releases 2012 full season schedule
The National Football League released the full schedule for the upcoming 2012 regular season, giving football fans something to cheer about other than the upcoming NFL Draft at the end of April. The Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants will be the first game of the new year, in the first Wednesday night NFL game since 1948. The following Sunday has several other notable games with their fair share of storylines as well, with two NFC powerhouses locking horns as the San Francisco 49ers and Green Bay Packers. The Pittsburgh Steelers will also have the privilege of taking on Peyton Manning in his first game as new quarterback of the Denver Broncos on NBC Sunday Night Football. ESPN will also have their annual double-header Monday Night Football schedule that week, featuring games between AFC North rivals Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens as well as an AFC West showdown between the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders.