Bounty Scandal Essay

Bounty Scandal Essay

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When does a contact sport become a crime? That is the question that every National Football League (NFL) fan has asked themselves in light of the former Saints defensive coordinator (DC) Gregg Williams’ “bounty program.” No one person has wrestled with this question more than the NFL commissioner Rodger Goodell. Goodell was faced with an ethical decision that will shape his tenure as the NFL’s commissioner; his decision will become precedence for many commissioners after him. Using the RESOLVEDD strategy of decision-making developed by Raymond Pfeiffer and Ralph Forsberg (2005), this paper will examine the scandal, scrutinize the decisions made, and determine if the NLF commissioner took the correct action for the league.
The first step of the RESOLVEDD process, represented by “R,” is “review the case” (Pfeiffer & Forsberg, 2005). The NFL began investigating the New Orleans Saints after their Super Bowl win in 2009, when accusations arose that the organization had organized a cash payout bonus program for injuring players. The extra payouts are against league rules, prohibiting non-contract bonuses. Additionally, these bonuses did not pay for performance; but, specifically cart-offs, concussions, and knock-outs. The sums of these payouts reached up to $50,000 during the 2009 playoffs. Early investigations died out when security personnel interviewed players and coaches; they all denied that such a program ever existed (National Football League, 2012). The league at that time could not prove the allegations, but Goodell wanted to ensure that the league understood this type of program would not be tolerated. The league would send out bi-annual letters to all teams, reminding them that out-of-contract bonuses are illegal...

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Cherry, E., Sealey, D., & Mangialardi, L. (1991). Understanding the risks. Journal of Sport Management, 5(2), 198.
Kahn, L. (2009). Sports, antitrust enforcement and collective bargaining. Antitrust Bulletin, 54(4), 857-881. Retrieved April 24, 2012, from the EBSCO Host database.
National Football League. (2012). Full NFL statement into 'bounty' program run by New Orleans Saints. Retrieved May 1, 2012, from
O'Rourke, M. (2011). Risk on the field and in the headlines. Risk Management, 58(3), 37. Retrieved April 24, 2012, from the EBSCO Host database.
Pfeiffer, R., & Forsberg, R. (2005). Ethics on the job: cases and strategies (3rd ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson/Wadsworth.

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