FOOTBALL — 22 January 2013

New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton was reinstated on Tuesday from his season-long suspension for his participation in the team’s bounty program.

The decision to reinstate Payton was made following a meeting between him and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday in New Orleans.

The commissioner said they were very productive in their talks and made the following statement:

Sean fully complied with all the requirements imposed on him during his suspension. More important, it is clear that Sean understands and accepts his responsibilities as a head coach and the vital role that coaches play in promoting player safety and setting an example for how the game should be played at all levels. We are committed to delivering football that fans love and the safety players deserve. Coach Payton agrees and I look forward to working with him going forward to do that.”

Payton can immeidately resume activities and assume his regular duties with the team. Sean Payton said in a statement:

I am thankful today Commissioner Goodell has granted me reinstatement. As I stated back in March, ‘I, along with Mickey Loomis, take full responsibility for all aspects of our football program.’ I clearly recognize that mistakes were made, which led to league violations,”

Furthermore, I have assured the Commissioner a more diligent protocol will be followed. Lastly, I feel we have learned from our mistakes and are ready to move forward. I want to thank our owner, Mr. [Tom] Benson and all of our great fans for the overwhelming support throughout this past year. I am excited to be back as Head Coach of the New Orleans Saints!”

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