Bounties offered for youth gridiron injuries: report

Posted at 09/30/12 2:08 PM

LOS ANGELES - The coach of a children's gridiron team in suburban Los Angeles and the league president have been suspended after allegations in the Orange County Register by parents of a bounty scheme.

The bounty system, allegedly used last season to provide payments to 10- and 11-year-olds for deliberately injuring opponents, follows a similar scheme that led to National Football League bans this year for the New Orleans Saints.

The report says parents claim coach Darren Crawford and an assistant offered players on the Red Cobras of the Tustin (California) Junior Pee Wee league cash for hard hits that knocked American football rivals out of playoff games.

One player suffered a mild concussion as a result of such a hit.

National Pop Warner officials said that Crawford and Pat Galentine, who serves as president of the Tustin league, have been suspended until an investigation into the claims has been conducted.

Crawford, Galentine and the former assistant coach have denied the allegations.

In the NFL version of the bounty scheme, Saints coach Sean Payton was banned for the entire 2012 NFL season after a league probe uncovered the scheme.

Between 22 and 27 Saints players took thousands of dollars in payoffs for delivering hits that forced opposing players out of games.

Former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, the instigator of the pay-for-injury scheme that ran from 2009 through 2011, was given an indefinite suspension and has apologized for what he called a "terrible mistake".

The Saints, who won the 2010 Super Bowl, are off to an 0-3 start this season.

© 1994-2012 Agence France-Presse

View more