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Goodell to hear bounty appeals June 18


Despite a pending grievance questioning his authority to discipline four players for involvement in the Saints’ alleged bounty system and an expected appeal of a separate grievance that raises a similar point, Commissioner Roger Goodell will conduct hearings on the appeals of the quartet of suspensions.

Steve Wyche of NFL Network reports that the hearings will proceed on June 18 as to Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma (who was suspended a full season), Saints defensive end Will Smith (four games), Packers defensive end Anthony Hargrove (eight games), and Browns linebacker Scott Fujita (three games).

The hearing date has been picked even though arbitrator Shyam Das has yet to rule on the questions of whether the new labor deal blocks any discipline against players for conduct happening before August 2011, and whether the appeals should be heard by Ted Cottrell and Art Shell, who review penalties imposed for on-field misconduct.

A separate grievance arguing that the penalties fall within the jurisdiction of System Arbitrator Richard Burbank, who handles alleged violations of the salary cap, will be appealed by the NFLPA.  Burbank ruled earlier this week that he has no jurisdiction over the suspensions.

The rules applicable to the hearings before Goodell aren’t known.  Will evidence of guilt be provided to the players so that they can prepare to challenge the league’s case with arguments, documents, witnesses, or other tactics?  Or will the league simply rely on summaries or characterizations of evidence?  Will witnesses supporting the league’s claims testify?  How much time will be allotted to the process?

Depending on whether and to what extent the players believe a fair process will be utilized, don’t be shocked if one or more of the players (most likely, Vilma) refuse to proceed.  Then again, submitting to an unfair process could make it easier to attack the final decision in court, after the fact.

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16 Responses to “Goodell to hear bounty appeals June 18”
  1. savannahrose44 says: Jun 6, 2012 10:17 PM

    Fair or not it’s the process they all agreed to and signed on the dotted line for.

  2. eagleswin says: Jun 6, 2012 10:44 PM

    Depending on whether and to what extent the players believe a fair process will be utilized, don’t be shocked if one or more of the players (most likely, Vilma) refuse to proceed. Then again, submitting to an unfair process could make it easier to attack the final decision in court, after the fact.


    As long as Goodell follows the procedures outlined in the CBA, the players are out of luck. So far he has done that.

    Honestly, I can’t see Goodell giving up his sources, nor does he have to. Goodell will tell him what incidents he is specifically accused of and he will have to refute those claims. His lawyer will not get the chance to drag the witness through the mud. Remember this is not a courtroom.

  3. eyeh8goodell says: Jun 6, 2012 10:45 PM

    Gee, I wonder what the outcome will be. Go Vilma, slice up Rogers’s backside in court.

  4. jwayne111 says: Jun 6, 2012 10:48 PM

    “submitting to an unfair process” – Have you joined up with Vilmas legal team Mike… Perhaps just your opinion.

    Ditto on the agreement all signed up for.

  5. brintfatre says: Jun 6, 2012 10:50 PM

    …and rule against them by the 19th. What a sham!

  6. jc1958cool says: Jun 6, 2012 11:12 PM

    just a formality, those guys are toast!
    gregg williams admitted it, what more do you need? dumb people make the world go round

  7. cwwgk says: Jun 6, 2012 11:15 PM

    @savannahrose44: so true. Moreover, if the players lose their appeals and try to avail themselves of the judicial system it would be an exercise in futility. The court wouldn’t decide the merits of the suspensions. It wouldn’t even consider whether the process was fair. Rather, the Court would simply rule as to whether the players were suspended for unlawful reasons such as their race, nationality or religion. To the chagrin of many, the Court won’t care about whether or not Goodell had enough evidence.

    In regards to the hearings on June 18, the CBA requires each party to exchange all exhibits they intend to rely on three days before, or June 15.

  8. thegreatgabbert says: Jun 6, 2012 11:19 PM

    Raj promises to put a foam plug in “the other ear” so he retains the bulk of the arguments advanced and can consider them when he has some leisure time. Or when there is nothing good on T.V. Or when he’s having trouble getting to sleep.

  9. briang123 says: Jun 6, 2012 11:44 PM

    In my world and in Goodell’s former world, the legal profession, we call that a serious conflict of interest deserving immediate recusal. In Goodell’s current world and in East Germany, it is called “business as usual.”

  10. saints4evah says: Jun 7, 2012 12:02 AM

    YEah, he admitted to talking trash. so you and the OTHER genius are right. Trash talk is a crime.
    What a pair of fools to hold a court with.

  11. bleedinggreenngold says: Jun 7, 2012 12:29 AM

    Yawn, why do we constantly need legal experts to interpret NFL news these days…..

  12. jason1980 says: Jun 7, 2012 1:02 AM

    For the same we have to read the OPINIONS of the these half-baked legal geniuses here on PFT. Nobody here knows what the hell they are talking about, yet the ramble on as if they are in the league office day in and day out. I love being a Saints fan these days, because we’re gonna rock the NFL this season. That thought alone scares the bejesus out of the hater fans of losing teams.

  13. kairn42 says: Jun 7, 2012 1:23 AM

    Someone please correct me if I’m wrong, but hasn’t the NFLPA already set a pretty good precedent in favor of Goodell doing what he’s done by OKing the punishment of 8 players for conduct during the lockout last summer? Pretty sure that was pre August 2011 conduct since the ‘agreement’ came in Sept…doesn’t that make it hard to rule against Goodell now?

  14. ilovefoolsball says: Jun 7, 2012 1:32 AM

    Goodell has the world right where he wants him.
    In this world he is a God, and we all must kneel before him like servants.

    He reminds me a lot of Loki from the Avengers. He thinks we need him to rule us.

    Now all of you who follow him must KNEEL!!!

  15. gingerkid2000 says: Jun 7, 2012 4:17 AM

    Let’s be honest. Even if Vilma was confronted with substantial, undeniable evidence that proves his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, he’d still insist he was innocent. It’s not like he’d be the 1st. That’s his story and he’s sticking to it. He & Ginsberg are obviously of the same belief that if you stick to the same lie long enough and scream it loudly and often enough it will magically become the truth.

  16. jlb10 says: Jun 7, 2012 10:13 AM

    anyone else sick and tired of hearing the name goodell? the guys name is in the news entirely too much

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