Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 4/9/12
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New York, NY (Sports Network) - The NFL has upheld the suspensions of New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, general manager Mickey Loomis and assistant head coach Joe Vitt for their roles in the club's bounty program.

All three appealed the penalties last week in New York and commissioner Roger Goodell on Monday decided against making changes to the original suspensions.

Payton will sit out the entire 2012 season, a suspension that will now begin April 16. Loomis incurred an eight-game ban and Vitt a six-game penalty, both of which will begin at the conclusion of the preseason.

On March 2, the NFL announced results of a lengthy investigation into the bounty program, which the league said the team employed under then-defensive coordinator Gregg Williams from 2009-11.

Goodell then issued discipline on March 21, the harshest penalty going to Williams, who was given an indefinite suspension. Williams had left New Orleans to take a similar position with the St. Louis Rams and decided against an appeal.

The others did ask for a further review.

While a reduction in games was not expected, the parameters of the suspension had not yet been determined. There was still no announcement of what Payton, Loomis and Vitt can and cannot do during their absences.

The Saints, though, will now have to make a decision on who will guide the club on the field for the 2012 campaign. Reports last month said the team was considering Bill Parcells, Payton's mentor, as interim coach for the year. Parcells, for his part, had reportedly indicated that he would think about a such a position if it was offered.

Goodell added on Monday that individual financial penalties could be reduced if all parties cooperate further. He also said the forfeiture of the team's 2013 second-round draft pick could be modified as well.



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