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.
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: A person familiar with the situation says there are three strong candidates on the New Orleans staff to step in as interim coach: defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael Jr. and offensive line coach Aaron Kromer.
JETS: Tim Tebow, who arrived at New York’s facility in Florham Park, N.J., for the first time Thursday afternoon, won’t start as he did in Denver, not with New York committed to Mark Sanchez.
But Tebow gives the Jets the option to run offensive coordinator Tony Sparano’s wildcat offense – the one that confused teams while in Miami with the Dolphins – and provides an intriguing presence.
“He’ll fit our wildcat package,” coach Rex Ryan said. “As a defensive coach, I know how hard it is to defend the wildcat. We can take it to another level with Tim. We will have things for Tebow each week.”
49ERS: Officially reached a two-year deal with wide receiver Mario Manningham, a postseason star for the New York Giants.
BEARS: Agreed to a four-year contract with running back Michael Bush.
Bush will join Matt Forte, who got a franchise tag from the Bears, in Chicago’s backfield.
Bush played four seasons for the Oakland Raiders.
PRO DAY: Projected to go No. 1 overall to the Indianapolis Colts in the NFL Draft, Andrew Luck relished the spotlight for a change during Stanford’s Pro Day.
“I think I’m in a very unique position. I feel very fortunate,” Luck said. “Obviously nothing is set in stone, but I should be drafted pretty high.”
Luck completed 46 of 50 passes, and three of those incompletions were drops by his receivers.
NLFPA: DeMaurice Smith was re-elected NFL Players Association chief executive without opposition.
TRADING CARDS: Fans don’t have to wait long to see Tebow or Peyton Manning in their new uniforms.
Bowman Football will launch a line of trading cards featuring Tebow in a New York Jets jersey and Manning donning a Denver Broncos uniform. The packs of cards hit store shelves in May.
The images have been retouched to reflect the changes.