The New Orleans Saints bounty scandal has UM alumni footprints all over it. Linebacker Jonathan Vilma is accused of putting up at least $10,000 of his own money to encourage teammates to “take out” opponents. Tight end Jeremy Shockey is accused of being the “snitch” who told on them. His accuser ? Former UM defensive lineman Warren Sapp.
This scandal was just too juicy for UM somehow NOT to be involved. Of course, extra pay for extra special licks is not new to the Canes. Uncle Luke introduced the concept back in the day when he paid “bonuses” for vigorous hits.
Still, paying for hard hits is not the same as rewarding players who deliberately hurt people. That’s scary.
No one is pretending that football isn’t violent, but players should be on the field to win, not to cause injury. The truth is, however, that its a fine line between wanting to inflict pain and inflict INJURY.
Defensive players for years have bragged to each other about bone crushing hits that “took out” other players. Once upon a time, UM took that to another level.
It should not be surprising that the concept carried over into the pros. The players all understand that. The element of fear is a big part of football.
The defense is trying to force mistakes from offensive players who fear those crazy guys on the other side of the field WANT to hurt them.
Roger Goodell has already lowered the boom on those in charge of the Saints “bounty” system. Soon, he’ll punish some of the players who carried it out. Vilma could head the list. The NFL commissioner might even reprimand Warren Sapp for calling out Shockey. He might even wrist slap Shockey for publishing a profane tweet defending himself from Sapp’s accusation.
Those UM guys. Even long after leaving Coral Gables, they still know how to “raise Cane.”