This story is remarkable. On the one hand, you have players who want to know "who ratted ?" and its "something that goes on everywhere"....while on the other hand, you have the media in a frenzy about the inegrity of the game and the protection of players.
And somewhere in the middle is Roger Goodell. He finds himself in a tough spot. When spygate broke as news a few seasons ago, Goodell destroyed whatever evidence there was. Then, we heard from the feds that they weren't too happy with his decision. There was talk about whether they might step in if there was a future incident, whether the NFL deserved its exemptions, and so forth.
So this time, he came clean and broke the story himself. And he will have to come in with some penalties that maybe don't really fit with the story. That's really his only recourse.
This story, though, is about more than a bounty on big hits. That kind of stuff surely happens. This is about the organization condoning it, maybe even encouraging it. Given the way the Penn State scandal broke, and the reality that many turned a blind eye because the guy was part of the program, we appear to have something similar (though much less criminal) here. People accepted it for whatever reason.
But that's not quite all. There was a story earlier today about some "guy" who may have contributed to the pool of money. That scares the NFL....who was he? What was his involvement?
At the end of the day, this could be gambling, and surely the feds would jump on that.
And even though the amounts were small, the fact that someone else, or the organization, were paying players above and beyond their contracts undermines the collective bargaining that was so hard fought - and that Drew Brees was a huge part of as a major player in the union, and yet he was in the locker room...
It sure seems to me that this is more than hits to injure - its about the money. And its about the "institutional control" that the NCAA holds near and dear, and that the NFL always assumed was the case among their teams.