By Eric Schmidt

Despite an appeal, the NFL has upheld the suspensions levied on the New Orleans Saints and their involvement in the Bounty-gate scandal. Head coach Sean Payton, General Manager Mickey Loomis and assistant head coach Joe Vitt have all had their appeals denied and the initial suspensions handed down by the NFL league office will stand next season.

Head coach Sean Payton was scheduled to be suspended for one year starting on April 1, but given his appeal, the suspension will not begin until April 16, later this month. Loomis and Vitt, suspended for eight and six regular season games respectively, will have their suspensions begin at the conclusion of the preseason schedule.

The head coaching situation for the New Orleans Saints next season remains in a state of flux. There has been no news over the last week in regards to the possibility of former head coach Bill Parcells joining the team for the 2012 campaign. It is possible that the entire appeals process was simply a stall tactic for the Saints organization while Parcells and Payton worked behind the scenes in order to ready the team for next season and finalizing draft needs.

The NFL league office also stated this afternoon that it’s possible that the Saints might not have to forfeit their 2013 second-round draft pick, the penalty could be reduced but little explanation was given.

The ruling from the league office this afternoon was not unexpected.

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