Bounty Gate Exposed a Mess | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Bounty Gate Exposed a Mess

It was a big week in sports last week. We have to start off with the saga of “Bounty Gate,” as former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue finally handed down his decision on the whole affair. Tagliabue’s ruling sent both sides into spin mode as he found that the Saints did have a bounty system but held the coaches to a higher standard than the players.

Tagliabue vacated all suspensions of the players, ending most of the protests from the NFLPA and the players involved. This let the NFLPA declare victory.

The former commissioner also stated that the NFL’s findings were factual but were tainted by the actions of the coaches and management in the Saints’ organization. This allowed the NFL to declare victory as well.

This whole affair exposed problems for both sides, who need to figure out a common ground that they both can live with and that is fair to both.

That might mean bringing in former players to hand out punishments, a different appeals process or some sort of combination of the two—or something completely different. Maybe a punishment tribunal could work with Goodell, a union representative and a neutral party to decide punishments.

The NFLPA has spent a lot of time protecting a handful of players who—if you believe Tagliabue—really were trying to injure other union members. While no players have said anything publicly, you have to wonder if there has been talk between offensive players about how the union stood up for players trying to hurt them and possibly end their careers.

If you’re looking for the big loser out of Tagliabue’s ruling, that would be Sean Payton and the other coaches and office personnel thrown under the bus.

Personally, I don’t agree with the thought that the players were just following orders and all the blame should fall on the coaches and others. The players are grown men and could stand up for what is right, no matter who passed the orders to them.

Either way, I am tired of this whole mess and wish it would just go away.

Southern Miss finally found their new head football coach. Last week, the Golden Eagles announced they hired Todd Monken as the man who will try to turn things around after a 0-12 season.

Monken was offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State and led one of college football’s high-powered offenses. This season, the Cowboys averaged 45 points per game, which was fourth in the country, and 333 passing yards, which was seventh in the country. Scoring points shouldn’t be a problem for USM next season.

Monken also is following in the footsteps of former OSU offensive coordinator Larry Fedora who came to USM in 2008. Fedora led the Golden Eagles to one of their best (if not the best) seasons in school history in 2011 before leaving to take over at North Carolina.

Southern Miss should be happy if they get similar success from Monken before he heads to a bigger job somewhere else. That is the nature of college football these days.

The best the Golden Eagles can hope for is that Monken wants to be the next Chris Peterson. If you don’t know Peterson, he is the head coach at Boise State and loves the program so much, he has turned down several other big jobs, and has made the Broncos look very attractive to bigger conferences.

USM should be thrilled if Monken has success and decides to stay and build something special in Hattiesburg. In like token, there should be no hard feelings if Monken wants to leave for a big job

as well.

I have no problem with coaches leaving as long as they don’t do it at the dinner table with recruits before the food arrives. I’m looking at you, Tommy Tuberville.

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