NCAA

Saints coach: Witnesses lied in NFL investigation

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Saints coach: Witnesses lied in NFL investigation

METAIRIE, La. (AP) Saints assistant head coach Joe Vitt said Thursday witnesses in the NFL's bounty investigation of the New Orleans Saints have lied about him and the organization, and that their stories might change in federal court.

Alluding to a defamation lawsuit filed by Saints linebacker Jon Vilma against NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, Vitt angrily said he feels the truth about the pay-for-pain system will come out before U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan, who is presiding over the pending case in New Orleans.

``If anybody's keeping a scorecard here, let's take a look at this,'' Vitt said. He referred back to his first meeting with reporters after the NFL released its bounty probe findings last March, in which he said, ``At no point in time did our players ever cross the white line with the intention of injuring, maiming or ending the career of another player. That never took place.''

Then, recounting his witness appearance in Vilma's case last summer, he added, ``I've testified before a federal judge with my hand on the Bible.''

``What's going to happen now is all participants, all these accusations, are going to go to federal court,'' Vitt continued. ``They're going to go to a judge, and from top to bottom, she's going to hear testimony, and the penalty for perjury with her is going to be jail time.''

Vitt's comments came a day after The Associated Press reported that former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams testified in recent NFL appeal hearings that he tried to stop the Saints' bounty program, only to be overruled by Vitt. The AP obtained transcripts from the closed-door hearings, which were held for Vilma and three other players who had been punished in the bounty probe.

Those same transcripts show Vitt later denied Williams' allegation and offered to take a lie detector test, adding, ``There's a lot of lying going on right now.''

Vitt called Williams a liar repeatedly during his appeal hearing testimony, even saying Williams ``has lost his mind in some situations.''

Saints quarterback Drew Brees has been defending the integrity of his coaches, saying Wednesday it was hard to believe the NFL based its case on the testimony of Williams and former defensive assistant Mike Cerullo, ``two disgruntled employees that were fired here because they did not fit the mold of what we are about.''

Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue was appointed by Goodell to handle the players' appeals, and on Tuesday overturned their suspensions. However, he affirmed many of the findings of the bounty probe and found that three players, with the exception of former Saints linebacker Scott Fujita, committed ``conduct detrimental'' to the league.

Vitt has been serving as the Saints' interim head coach this season, except for six games when he was suspended. Saints head coach Sean Payton was suspended the entire season and general manager Mickey Loomis eight games.

The players had fought their bounty punishment with the help of their union, through the NFL's collective bargaining agreement and in federal court.

``Myself, Sean and Mickey didn't have that right,'' Vitt said, referring to the fact they did not have union representation. ``I've already served my time. Mickey has already served his time. And to be quite frank with you, I don't know what door to knock on Park Avenue (where NFL headquarters are located) to get my reputation back. But again, I'm going to defend our players, I'm going to defend this organization and I'm going to defend our ownership.''

Vitt declined to say on Thursday whether he expects to bring any legal action of his own, though he had testified before Tagliabue that he will sue Cerullo.

Although Vilma's case is pending, the judge denied the linebacker's request this week to begin the discovery process that includes the gathering of evidence and deposing of witnesses, and she is still considering an NFL motion to dismiss the case.

When asked if he could take action against Goodell or the league, Vitt responded, ``There's nothing. It's history,'' but then added, ``We'll all be before a federal judge. That's coming. We'll all be before the federal judge. And the one great thing about this country - the truth is going to prevail.''

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Former Maryland DL Mojo Rawley tells Mike Locksley how the Gronkowski brothers got him into WWE

Former Maryland DL Mojo Rawley tells Mike Locksley how the Gronkowski brothers got him into WWE

With Wrestlemania 36 underway this weekend, Maryland football coach Mike Locksley sat down on Instagram Live with former Terps defensive lineman and current WWE superstar Mojo Rawley to talk about his new career path. 

Rawley's real name is Dean Muhtadi, and he played for the Terps in for two years as a Division III transfer. He finished third on team in sacks that season and despite going undrafted in 2009, found his way to an NFL camp with the Packers. 

Muhtadi spent 2009 with Green Bay and 2010 with the Cardinals before suffering an injury that landed him on injured reserve. It was then where Muhtadi found a new career path thanks to two of his best friends. 

"Dan Gronkowski and Chris Gronkowski played with me at Maryland, two of my closest friends," Rawley said on "Late Night With Locks". "Their dad was one of our coach's roommates in the WWE, so it seemed like a natural fit. We were watching together, and I kinda made a comment like, 'this would be awesome if I could be one of [the wrestlers]. Mr. Gronk made the call and the rest was history."

Rawley has been a WWE superstar and currently stands as Rob Gronkowski's hype man. The former Patriots tight end is WWE's most recent signee and is Wrestlemania 36's host.

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The Rock's cheat day, what the Watt brothers are up to, Marcus Stroman get his reps in

The Rock's cheat day, what the Watt brothers are up to, Marcus Stroman get his reps in

First up in Saturday's round-up of the best sports moments on the internet, everyone is trying to stick to as normal of a routine as they can while at home. Quarantine wasn’t going to keep Dwayne Johnson aka “The Rock” away from his “cheat day”. Have you ever seen french toast this big in your life? 


Next up, the Watt brothers have been staying in shape working out together and they even have a football field coming soon. Check out JJ Watt painting the lines. He says he has a new respect for groundskeepers now. The stage is set for the Watt brothers!


Finally, no bullpen, no problem! Mets starting pitcher Marcus Stroman sets up a makeshift bullpen on his boat dock and it even has a mound. Now that is a beautiful place to get your reps in! 

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