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Former NFL Commisioner Paul Tagliabue Will Hear Saints Bounty Case Appeals

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In an interest in fairness, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell chose former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue to hear the New Orleans Saints bounty case appeals.

Goodell  informed the NFL players union and supended players: Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith, Scott Fujita and Anthony Hargrove about this decison.  Goodell feels that Tagliabue will render a prompt and fair conclusion.    He stated that he discussed the matter with NFL Players Association executive director DeMaurice Smith before he asked Tagliabue to hear the case.  Tagliabue served as The NFL Commissioner from 1989-2006 and is also a lawyer.

Jonathan Vilma’s attorney, Peter Ginsberg said ” Commisioner Goodell’s belated recognition that he cannot possibly serve as an impartial and unbiased arbitrator is certainly a positive development.  Having said that, we now need to learn whether Commisoner Tagliabue plans to provide us the fundamental rights that Commisoner Goodell ignored, such as the right to examine the accusers and evidence.”

This is all in relation to the suspensions that were given in May to Vilma, who was suspended for the season, Smith, who was suspended for four games, Fujita, who was suspended for three games and Hargrove who was suspended for eight games.  The suspensions were lifted during traning camp by a three-members panel that told Goodell to redo the discpline process.

Goodell reissued the supensions last week but reduced the suspensions of Fujita to one game and Hargrove to seven games.  All four players submitted appeals within the 72-hour time frame and are eligible to play while their case is under appeal.

The appeals case is set to be heard on October 30th.

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