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Today’s ruling means nothing to Payton, Vitt, Loomis, Williams

Saints Payton Glare Football

In this Friday, July 27, 2012, photo, a banner featuring a portrait of suspended New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton hangs on the wall of the team practice facility in Matairie, La. The mural also includes the phrase, “Do your job,” which has become the unofficial motto of the club ever since Payton delivered those parting words before starting his season-long suspension in connection with the NFL’s bounty investigation. (AP Photo/The (Baton Rouge) Advocate, Patrick Dennis) MAGS OUT ONLINES OUT MAGS OUT NO SALES TV OUT FOREIGNS OUT OUT LOUISIANA BUSINESS INC./GREATER BATON ROUGE BUSINESS


Perhaps the most common question raised in the wake of today’s ruling from the internal appeals panel scuttling the bounty suspensions and sending the process back to Commissioner Roger Goodell (and square one) is whether it will affect the suspensions imposed on non-players, like Saints coach Sean Payton.

The quick answer? No.

Payton, Saints interim coach Joe Vitt, Saints G.M. Mickey Loomis, and former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams were not disciplined within the confines of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the league and the players. The player protections come from the fact that they have a union that has negotiated a comprehensive and detailed labor deal. Non-players are protected only by the terms of their employment contracts -- which simply don’t include the kind of provisions that helped the players in this specific case.

For non-players, every dispute on every issue goes back to the league office for resolution. So while the CBA has given the players new life (for now), the non-players continue to be suspended, with no hope for any change in their status.