(CBS News) The NFLWednesday for having a bounty system to hurt opposing players. The league suspended head coach Sean Payton for a year without pay, fined the Saints $500,000, and took away the team's second-round draft picks for this year and next. The NFL also suspended indefinitely the Saints ex-defensive coordinator, Gregg Williams, who is now with the St. Louis Rams.
"We are all accountable and responsible for player health and safety and the integrity of the game. We will not tolerate conduct or a culture that undermines those priorities," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, as quoted by The Associated Press. "No one is above the game or the rules that govern it."
"CBS Evening News" anchor Scott Pelley spoke with special correspondent and host of "The NFL Today," James Brown, about what went behind the commissioner's decision and the league reaction to it. A transcript follows.
Pelley: J.B., why are these penalties so severe?
Brown: The essence of the situation, Scott, is that the head coach is the face of the organization. He runs the show there. And the fact that Sean Payton, the head coach, knew this system, this bounty program was in place -- he effectively lied about it when the commissioner and league authorities asked about it, so that explains why the penalty was so severe.
Pelley: Now we only heard about management today. Why no decisions on the players?
Brown: Commissioner Goodell is doing his best to work with the NFL Players Association in coming up with what he feels and they feel collectively is a fair punishment. But rest assured, that is to come in terms of those players who have been clearly identified who participated in the bounty program. There will be some punishment forthcoming.
Pelley: You have been talking to a lot of household names in the league today, both present and former. I wonder how this is being received.
Brown: Believe it or not, they absolutely agreed with the commissioner's decision. This goes directly at players' safety and the integrity of the game. And they couldn't have agreed more with the commissioner's decision.