New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton will sit out the 2012 season — without pay —for his role in an illegal bounty program operated from 2009 to 2011 by some of the team’s defensive players and coaches. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell also handed down suspensions to Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis (eight games) and assistant coach Joe Vitt (six games). Former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, under whom the bounty program was administered and who has acknowledged his role and apologized for it, has been suspended indefinitely. Williams was hired during the off season to coordinate the St. Louis Rams' defense.

The team will also forfeit draft picks in coming years and must pay a $500,000 team fine.

An NFL probe found that the bounty program included incentive pay not only for laudable plays like interceptions but for injuring opposing players as well.

Read the NFL's press release announcing the disciplinary measures here.

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