The Times West Virginian


July 9, 2013

HERTZEL COLUMN- With ‘Luck,’ rivalries can be renewed



Just when you thought the NFL had moved on from the New Orleans Saints’ bounty scandal, former West Virginia linebacker Barrett Green, who had his NFL career ended by a knee injury in 2004, has sued, charging the injury was the result of another bounty program.

This one was run by the Washington Redskins, whose defensive coordinator was Gregg Williams.

Williams was the coordinator under defensive coordinator Sean Payton when the hammer was dropped on the Saints, although four of the suspensions were later lifted by former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue as part of a follow-up appeal.

According to sports law expert Gabe Feldman, the former Detroit Lions’ player filed a lawsuit against the Redskins, Williams and tight end Robert Royal.

“Redskins coaches directed their players to disregard criminal (and) civil laws, as well as NFL rules, to intentionally injure opponents,” Feldman says the suit claims.

According to Feldman, Royal is being sued for battery for delivering the low blow in 2004.

Following the revelation of the Saints’ bounty program, Williams was indefinitely suspended in 2012 for admitting his role in a “pay for performance” bounty program that was under his direction.

The NFL investigated the Redskins during their initial study of Williams’ actions but opted not to penalize the franchise for any acts during his tenure.

Green played every game after the injury through the end of the year.


Earlier this year, when WVU’s evasive slot receiver Tavon Austin was selected in the first round of the NFL draft by the St. Louis Rams and was rewarded with a multi-million-dollar contract, he expressed some worries about “a lot of cousins now” coming out of the woodwork to pick at his new personal fortune.

Many an NFL rookie from a poor background has gone through his fortune playing the big shot, but Austin was not that type.

In fact, in an interview with NFL Network’s Andrew Siciliano on “NFL Total Access,” Austin admitted he took things seriously at the NFL’s Rookie Symposium and learned how to handle that situation.

And what he learned was not to handle it himself.

“One thing I learned was just make somebody else the bad man, and that is definitely what I’m going to do as far as the money situation,” he said.

And who better to tell other people “no” than the lady who had done so with you for your whole life?

“So that definitely will be my mother,” he said. “She is definitely up for the challenge and she is ready to pretty much tell people ‘no.’”

That doesn’t mean Austin plans to hoard his money. At the symposium he learned that it can be put to good use.

“I definitely will help a lot of people, too, you know. I’m not one of those type of people who forgets where I came from and just acts like I’m better than anybody else,” he said. “But definitely there is a certain amount of times where it comes to a point where you have to say ‘no,’ and she’ll be that person that’ll be dealing with it.”

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