Meddling in sports is routine for Congress

The Oklahoman Editorial Published: March 27, 2012
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Roger Goodell, commissioner of the National Football League, and his staff don't have a firm enough grasp on how to run their business. They need help from Congress. Lucky for them, Sen. Dick Durbin has raised his hand and volunteered.

Durbin, D-Ill., plans to convene a gathering of a Senate Judiciary subcommittee to investigate bounty systems in the NFL. This comes after the New Orleans Saints organization was hammered by Goodell for a bounty system that was in place for a time. Head coach Sean Payton got suspended without pay for a year, former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was suspended indefinitely and the Saints' general manager was suspended six months. Goodell also fined the team half a million dollars and took away two second-round draft picks.

That's not enough for Durbin, who took to the Senate floor last week to say he wants to know what policies are in place in professional and college leagues to ensure “there's no place in athletics for these pay-to-maim bounties.” His committee also will look into whether federal sports bribery laws should be altered to include sports bounty programs.

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