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Saints Coach Sean Payton to Appeal Suspension, ESPN Says

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March 31 (Bloomberg) -- New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton will appeal his one-year suspension for his role in the National Football League team’s bounty program, ESPN reported on its website.

Payton was suspended for the 2012-13 season on March 21 for his part in allowing and covering up the bounty program that included financial bonuses for injuring opposing players. The penalty was the stiffest ever imposed by the NFL on a team and its leadership.

General manager Mickey Loomis was also suspended eight games, assistant coach Joe Vitt was banned six games and the Saints were fined $500,000 and striped of second-round draft picks in 2012 and 2013. Loomis, Vitt and the team will also appeal, ESPN said.

Payton had until April 2 to appeal and would be able to stay on as coach if he does so pending a hearing, ESPN said. He approached two-time Super Bowl winner Bill Parcells, whom he had formerly worked under as an assistant, to discuss becoming interim coach during his ban, ESPN reported this week.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch in London at bbensch@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net

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