Senator calls for NFL bounty investigation

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. UPI/Kevin Dietsch
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. UPI/Kevin Dietsch | License Photo

WASHINGTON, March 22 (UPI) -- U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., says the Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on sports bounties to determine if sports bribery laws should be expanded.

Thursday's announcement came one day after the National Football League suspended the New Orleans Saints' head coach, assistant head coach, general manager and former defensive coordinator for their involvement in a bounty program used by the team.


The hearing will be held before the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime.

The NFL said New Orleans Saints team members were rewarded for purposely injuring opposing players. In addition to the suspensions announced Wednesday, the team was fined $500,000 and lost second round draft picks for two years.

"Many sports involve human contact and the chance of serious injury. But when an injury is by design and is paid for, we've moved beyond any definition of sport," Durbin said Thursday in a statement. "I'm happy that the NFL acted swiftly once a bounty program was discovered. But questions remain about what the NFL and other professional and collegiate sports organizations are doing to protect their players and the integrity of their sports."


Durbin said representatives from the NFL, National Hockey League, National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball and the National Collegiate Athletic Association will be asked to testify.

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