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Thread: Senator Durbin (D-IL) Grandstanding for Hearings on Saints Bounties

  1. #1
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    Senator Durbin (D-IL) Grandstanding for Hearings on Saints Bounties

    What a monumental waste of time.

    [QUOTE]Senator calls hearing to examine bounties in NFL

    WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate wants to grill the NFL about bounties. And the NBA, NHL, NCAA and Major League Baseball are invited, too.

    Sen. Dick Durbin is setting up a Judiciary Committee hearing about bounties in professional football and other major sports in the wake of news that New Orleans Saints players received extra cash for hits that hurt particular opponents.

    The assistant Senate majority leader, an Illinois Democrat, said Thursday he wants to examine whether federal law should make such bounty systems a crime.

    "Let's be real basic about it here. If this activity were taking place off of a sporting field, away from a court, nobody would have a second thought (about whether it's wrong). `You mean, someone paid you to go out and hurt someone?"' Durbin said in a telephone interview before raising the issue on the floor of the Senate.

    "It goes way beyond the rules of any sporting contest, at least team contest, to intentionally inflict harm on another person for a financial reward," he said.

    His announcement came a day after the NFL took a harsh stand on bounties, suspending Saints head coach Sean Payton for all of next season, and indefinitely banning their former defensive coordinator, Gregg Williams. Saints general manager Mickey Loomis was barred for half of 2012, an assistant coach got a six-game ban, and the team also was docked two second-round draft picks and $500,000.

    NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell still needs to decide what penalties to give players who were involved in the Saints' scheme from 2009-11.

    "I am encouraged by what the National Football League did. What they came down with as a penalty on the New Orleans Saints was decisive and historic," Durbin said, adding that he thought the league was "taking this very seriously."

    But moving forward, the NFL and other leagues must "come up with standards to make sure this isn't going to happen again," he said. Otherwise, lawmakers will need to "at least explore whether it is necessary to have federal legislation in this area."

    One possibility, Durbin explained, would be to extend federal sports bribery laws to cover bounties, so that "if someone offers in a team sports situation some sort of value, money or otherwise, to intentionally hurt another player, that, in fact, would be a crime."

    Under the bounty system overseen in New Orleans by Williams - who was hired in January by the St. Louis Rams - the targeted players included quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton, Brett Favre and Kurt Warner. "Knockouts" were worth $1,500 and "cart-offs" $1,000, with payments doubled or tripled for the playoffs.

    According to the league, Saints defensive captain Jonathan Vilma offered $10,000 to any player who knocked then-Vikings QB Favre out of the 2010 NFC championship game.

    Durbin isn't sure when the hearing will happen, but he said it could be two to three weeks from now.[/QUOTE]


    [url]http://www.cnnsi.com/2012/football/nfl/03/22/bounty.senator.ap/index.html?sct=hp_t2_a2[/url]

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    Removing the politics from this, Sen. Durbin has every right to hold a hearing -- it is within his power granted to him, and every Senator/Representative, by the constitution.

    Furthermore, Sen. Durbin is a Member of the Judiciary Committee [Senate]. Congress grants the NFL antitrust immunity. Professional sports is the only industry that enjoy that exemption -- and it has implications that are far reaching. Therefore, because of that exemption, Congress has the power to look into any/every aspect of sports whether you think it is grandstanding or not. It is the law!!

    A few months back, some of the prominent NE Pats trolls on this site, who will remain nameless, hurled allegations against former Sen. Specter (PA) for doing the samething that Durbin is going to do -- use his legislative powers as a senior Member of the Judiciary Committee looking into Spygate and calling for hearings (which did not occur as the chair, a diehard Pats fan from Vermont, tabled the request). Those trolls claimed Specter was "an unethical" Senator. Charges that had zero merit. Yet, the trolling morons continued to hurl allegations and post irrelevant blogs from other Pats fans.

    My point is that Congress has broad authority to examine every aspect of life, including sports -- especially when the professional leagues have antittrust immunity.

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    [QUOTE=jetssjumets;4415057]Removing the politics from this, Sen. Durbin has every right to hold a hearing -- it is within his power granted to him, and every Senator/Representative, by the constitution.

    Furthermore, Sen. Durbin is a Member of the Judiciary Committee [Senate]. Congress grants the NFL antitrust immunity. Professional sports is the only industry that enjoy that exemption -- and it has implications that are far reaching. Therefore, because of that exemption, Congress has the power to look into any/every aspect of sports whether you think it is grandstanding or not. It is the law!!

    A few months back, some of the prominent NE Pats trolls on this site, who will remain nameless, hurled allegations against former Sen. Specter (PA) for doing the samething that Durbin is going to do -- use his legislative powers as a senior Member of the Judiciary Committee looking into Spygate and calling for hearings (which did not occur as the chair, a diehard Pats fan from Vermont, tabled the request). Those trolls claimed Specter was "an unethical" Senator. Charges that had zero merit. Yet, the trolling morons continued to hurl allegations and post irrelevant blogs from other Pats fans.

    [B]My point is that Congress has broad authority to examine every aspect of life[/B], including sports -- especially when the professional leagues have antittrust immunity.[/QUOTE]

    Every aspect?? :eek:

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    Yes, Congress has broad authority to investigate and to hold hearings, but voters hope their elected representatives display a modicum of wisdom and judgment in targeting an industry or entity for investigation. The NFL has just levied unprecedented penalties, so to insert Congress into the equation at this point appears unnecessary and wholly borne of politics.

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    [QUOTE=Savage69;4415064]Every aspect?? :eek:[/QUOTE]

    Yes. Every aspect. For example, there are Federal laws on the books that regulate the food we eat, water we drink, clothes we wear; cars we drive, television shows we watch; the places we work in regards to employment law; the roads we use; how we communicate, etc.

    There is virtually no aspect of life as we know it that is not regulated in some way by the U.S. government. The U.S. Code (laws) is huge. If you are not a lawyer, look at USC Title 15 -- Commerce & Trade, to get an idea of what I am talking about. And this is only 1 Title of 51 which are continually amended and updated each year.

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    [QUOTE=bullitt929;4415087]Yes, Congress has broad authority to investigate and to hold hearings, but voters hope their elected representatives display a modicum of wisdom and judgment in targeting an industry or entity for investigation. The NFL has just levied unprecedented penalties, so to insert Congress into the equation at this point appears unnecessary and wholly borne of politics.[/QUOTE]

    I do not disagree with you. There are more important issues currently. The NFL punished NO, although I think the punishment did seem severe compared to the cheating scandal a few years back that questioned the integrity of the sport.

    Having said that, because the NFl has antitrust immunity (like other professional sports leagues), Congress is within its rights...like it or not. I bet you the NFL is happy to comply with this request. If they decline and Durbin decides to challenge the antitrust immunity exemption, watch how quickly the NFL is happy to give Congress what they need on this issue. MLB did not want to cooperate with Congress either until forced to do so regarding its steroid scandal. Any industry that enjoys antitrust immunity wants to keep it. Trust me.

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    [QUOTE=jetssjumets;4415108]I do not disagree with you. There are more important issues currently. The NFL punished NO, although I think the punishment did seem severe compared to the cheating scandal a few years back that questioned the integrity of the sport.

    Having said that, because the NFl has antitrust immunity (like other professional sports leagues), Congress is within its rights...like it or not. I bet you the NFL is happy to comply with this request. If they decline and Durbin decides to challenge the antitrust immunity exemption, watch how quickly the NFL is happy to give Congress what they need on this issue. MLB did not want to cooperate with Congress either until forced to do so regarding its steroid scandal. Any industry that enjoys antitrust immunity wants to keep it. Trust me.[/QUOTE]

    Oh, I completely agree that Congress has the right and that the NFL will cooperate as necessary. I just question Durbin's motives. If I lived in Illinois I'd want my senators focusing their time and talents elsewhere---gas prices, as one example.

  8. #8
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    [QUOTE=bullitt929;4415124]Oh, I completely agree that Congress has the right and that the NFL will cooperate as necessary. I just question Durbin's motives. If I lived in Illinois I'd want my senators focusing their time and talents elsewhere---gas prices, as one example.[/QUOTE]

    I hear you. However, as you know, Congress/Administration cannot control gas prices. These same arguments existed back in the summer of 2008 when crude hit its all time high.

    What Congress should do is investigate the role of speculators. Trust me, these damn gas prices in LA/socal has to be the highest in the country. It cost me $86 to fill up my car last night when I landed back here -- not that gas in the DC area is cheap either. Becasue I fly back-and forth each week, I noticed the airfares have increased just in the past month+. Absolutely due to the gas prices. So we are in complete agreement. I think if you remove the speculators, that premium alone is probably worth 30-40% of the current price.

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    I'm fine with this. Yes, there are probably other things that congress could be spending their time on, but the NFL has antitrust immunity, and with that comes greater scrutiny.

    The league has gone to great lengths to protect that immunity (see: American Needle vs NFL). If we're going to allow any industry to have those privileges, they should be put under the microscope. I was ok with the baseball steroid hearings, and I'm ok with having hearings on bountygate.

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    I think this is just a distraction topic in an election year to avoid nightly news stories on gas prices, unfortunately.

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    You would think a guy might be a little scared to do this, after Krafty secretly gave Specter cancer in retaliation.

    Don't mess with the NFL.

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    [QUOTE=Ernie;4415177]I think this is just a distraction topic in an election year to avoid nightly news stories on gas prices, unfortunately.[/QUOTE]

    [IMG]http://www.thecontrarianmedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Conspiracy.jpg[/IMG]

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    Old Dicky has nothing better else to do?

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    [QUOTE=MnJetFan;4415302]Old Dicky has nothing better else to do?[/QUOTE]

    He was done blowing up the credit/debit card industry so what the heck.

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