ESPN is reporting that Saints General Manager Mickey Loomis was able to listen in on communications between the visitors coaching booth in the Superdome and the opposing teams’ sidelines. According to the report, Loomis was able to listen to the conversations from his suite in the Superdome for most of the 2002 season and all of 2003 and 2004.
The Saints’ head coach during that time was current Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett. ESPN was unable to contact Haslett for comment on the story.
The were able to reach Jim Venturi, who was the defensive coordinator for the Saints under Haslett. "That's shocking," Venturi said, when told of the allegations. "I can tell you if we did it, nobody told me about it. ... Nobody ever helped me during a game."
The report is potentially another big blow for the Saints’ organization that is reeling under penalties imposed for running a bounty system and a subsequent coverup. Among the penalties is a six-game suspension for Loomis.
It is very early in the investigation but the implications for Loomis are not good. Although it appears that the statute of limitations has expired, that is the legal system. Commissioner Roger Goodell is not bound by such limits and he could choose to punish Loomis even further.
Saints spokesman Greg Bensel said, “This is 1,000 percent false. This is 1,000 percent inaccurate.”