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SBD/April 24, 2012/Franchises
Saints Facing Another PR Storm With ESPN Allegations Against Loomis
Published April 24, 2012
THE BAD NEWS KEEPS ON COMING: ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said the Saints were "everybody’s second-favorite team post-Katrina," but if the allegations regarding Loomis are true, the team has "lost the moral high ground." Kornheiser: "They become -- again, if this is true -- a corrupt franchise” (“PTI,” ESPN, 4/23). ESPN’s Marcellus Wiley said, "When it rains it pours and it’s certainly falling down on the Saints” (“SportsCenter Special: On the Clock,” ESPN, 4/23). ESPN’s Hugh Douglas said, “This team right now is snakebit. This is another black eye on the NFL.” ESPN's Colin Cowherd: "This is 100 times worse than Spygate. This is a cultural issue” (“SportsNation,” ESPN2, 4/23). Denver Post columnist Woody Paige said if the allegations are true, it is the "end of the career” for Loomis and it is “another major smear on a proud franchise” ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 4/23).
PROFESSING HIS LOYALTY: In New Orleans, Mike Triplett writes Saints Owner Tom Benson’s loyalty to Loomis “by all accounts ... is as strong as it has ever been.” A source said that Benson was “so adamant to defend Loomis and his organization Monday that he instructed a team of attorneys to pursue a lawsuit against ESPN.” In the wake of the bounty investigation, another scandal “would decimate Loomis' job security,” and losing Loomis “would devastate the Saints.” Triplett: “As one of the most hands-off owners in the league when it comes to daily football operations, Benson has given Loomis about as much leeway as any executive in the NFL” (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 4/24).