A California children’s football association president and team head coach were suspended amid allegations that money was offered to 10- and 11-year-old players to knock opponents out of games.
Tustin, California, Pop Warner coach Darren Crawford and association President Pat Galentine were suspended while the Pop Warner’s national office investigates the bounty allegations, Jon Butler, Pop Warner’s executive director, said in an e-mailed statement.
The bounty program took place during the Tustin Red Cobras’ undefeated 2011 season, the Orange County Register said, citing an assistant coach, a parent and players. Galentine was an assistant for the Red Cobras in 2011, the Register said.
After the Orange Empire Conference, which oversees the Tustin Pop Warner program, investigated and decided not to sanction anyone, the national Pop Warner program started its own investigation.
“In light of new information and players coming forward who did not participate in the league investigation, National Pop Warner will intervene to further investigate,” Butler said.
Crawford and Galentine both denied the existence of a bounty program, according to the Register. They were asked “to step down until this situation is finalized,” Butler said.
National Pop Warner spokesman Josh Pruce said he didn’t have contact information for Crawford and Galentine. Neither name was found in Internet searches for contact information.
The National Football League this year suspended New Orleans Saint coach Sean Payton for the 2012 season and barred four players for their alleged roles in a bounty program in 2010, when the team won the Super Bowl.
The NFL found that players were paid for big hits and targeted opponents, including Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks Brett Favre and Kurt Warner.
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