Saints Discipline Pash: union protective of Saints players

NEW YORK (AP) - NFL counsel Jeff Pash says the players' union is more intent on protecting the New Orleans Saints involved in the team's bounty scandal than supporting its members who could have been hurt by the pay-for-pain plan.

Speaking to a group of Associated Press Sports Editors, Pash says the union's approach is "unfortunate."

He says: "It's their players who put the safety of other players in jeopardy."

Union spokesman George Atallah says the players association is obligated "to ensure that players have fair due process."

Pash expects Commissioner Roger Goodell to punish players soon. Goodell already has suspended Saints coach Sean Payton for the 2012 season and fined the team $500,000. Saints former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is suspended indefinitely.

Pash also says all team owners and coaches have certified in writing their teams will never have such a program, something the league required in the wake of the Saints scandal.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)