6/20/2012 6:21:08 PM
The meeting with Durbin came after Goodell levied harsh penalties against
the New Orleans Saints and some of their players for alleged
participation in a bounty program.
Durbin was told by Goodell that the league will implement several reforms to
deter bounty programs. That includes the inclusion of a new "bounties section"
in the NFL players handbook. Each NFL player receiving the handbook is
required to acknowledge receipt.
"Bounties are not a part of football. We don't believe they should be a part
of sports," Goodell said. "We have taken very strong action to make sure they
are not a part of sports moving forward."
Also, posters will be hung in locker rooms with information about an anonymous
hotline to encourage players to report bounty-related issues.
"The NFL has taken the issue of bounties in professional football seriously
and has been open and willing to take additional steps to protect player
safety and football's integrity," Durbin said. "Because of that willingness to
address the issue, and due to the reforms the league is announcing after
meeting with me today, I will withhold congressional hearings on this matter
and continue to work with the league and its players to ensure the league's
rules are sufficient and that nothing like these bounty programs ever happens
The NFL Players Association released a statement asking for a hearing on
player health and safety.
"We thank the senator for his interest on these important issues. Given this
keen interest, the players hope and expect that the commissioner and the
senator will commit to a hearing on health and safety in the NFL in the near
future," the statement said.