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Arbitrator doesn’t rule on whether appeals should go to Art Shell or Ted Cottrell

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As NFL spokesman Greg Aiello risks a flag and/or a fine for excessive celebration after the scuttling of the second NFLPA bounty grievance in less than a week, the players still have one chance left to challenge the authority of Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Examination of the ruling from arbitrator Shyam Das indicates that, during the May 16 hearing, the NFLPA focused only on the question of whether the new labor deal prevents discipline of players for anything happening before August 4, 2011.  At footnote 1 to the ruling, Das explains that the NFLPA is not now seeking a ruling on the question of whether the appeals should be resolved not by Goodell but by Art Shell (pictured) or Ted Cottrell, who have been jointly appointed by the NFL and NFLPA to review fines and suspensions levied for on-field misconduct.

Presumably, the NFLPA decided to focus on the broader issue, which would have prevented any discipline whatsoever, making a ruling on the Shell-or-Cottrell question irrelevant.

So now the question becomes when and if the NFLPA will pursue the other aspect of the grievance.  Based on our initial communications with sources having knowledge of the situation, the league and the union disagree (imagine that) on whether the issue remains viable.  The NFLPA will claim that the question is still open and requires a decision, and the NFL will contend that the point has been waived.

With Goodell planning to conduct the appeal hearings in 10 days, there’s not much time to figure it all out.

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4 Responses to “Arbitrator doesn’t rule on whether appeals should go to Art Shell or Ted Cottrell”
  1. gtodriver says: Jun 8, 2012 7:40 PM

    Well, maybe the NFLPA will start to realize (well, maybe not…) that they are just wrong about many of the recent issues they are attempting to challenge.

    They’ve done themselves and the NFL a great disservice with all this unnecessary litigation.

    The NFLPA should have been supporting the NFL’s actions against the minority of their members that were violating the rules in order to protect the rest of their membership.

    For the NFLPA to prosper, they need a healthy and profitable NFL.

    The NFL is trying to secure the future viability of the sport by punishing those whose actions could ruin things for the majority of the players.

  2. silentcount says: Jun 8, 2012 7:49 PM

    With all the arguing and confusion over rules, it’s become obvious that the NFL needs a new system designed to be fair for all involved. Based on the severe financial and reputation damage being done to individuals, there needs to be a better procedure to make sure no mistakes are made. Not based on NFL law, but basic rules of fairness that the USA government expects and enforces for business. Goodell should welcome Shell’s and Cottrell’s input on making sure the right decisions are made in regards to judge and punish. It seems that the NFL has become too big for just one man to oversee. Perhaps there should be a panel of several commissioners, with each one responsible for certain segments, but grouped together for final decisions on a particular matter.

  3. eagleswin says: Jun 8, 2012 8:23 PM

    With all the arguing and confusion over rules, it’s become obvious that the NFL needs a new system designed to be fair for all involved.

    ——————————–

    I’m sorry to tell you but, there is actually very little confusion. Most things are very clearly spelled out in the CBA. The fact that the NFLPA lkes to pretend that it didn’t sign the document when it doesn’t benefit them is irrelevant. It is clear that the NFLPA would argue regardless of the clarity or fairness.

    The only unclear thing might be what constitutes to much contact in OTAs. That would be up to the NFLPA to decide as that’s an issue the players want included, not the owners.

    Everything else, the rules that were broken and the procedures that Goodell had to follow were spelled out in the CBA. In 9 years, if the players are still unhappy about it they can negotiate a different procedure.

    There is no panel needed. This is only an issue because the players don’t like the punishment.

    Think about this, the players are going to finally see the evidence against them because they chose to cooperate with the appeals process. The fact that they ignored their initial chance to state their side because the NFLPA told them not to cooperate, is not Goodell’s fault.

  4. mitchdms says: Jun 8, 2012 9:34 PM

    Think about this, the players are going to finally see the evidence against them because they chose to cooperate with the appeals process. The fact that they ignored their initial chance to state their side because the NFLPA told them not to cooperate, is not Goodell’s fault.

    _____________

    Think about this. The NFL didn’t care enough about the players’ side to request an interview in the investigation stage. They got their conclusion, ran to the media, declared in the most fiery of terms that they were guilty of injuring people for money, and THEN asked them to come in and talk. And even then, refused to provide a shred of evidence. That is a snakey move, and it absolutely is Goodell’s fault. It’s the same kind of crap the league pulled in StarCaps Any human being in that position is going to get a lawyer (or current representation) and take their advice.

    So enough with this refusal to meet with the league. It is disingenuous to bring up. If the league wanted to meet with the players, it would have done so before publically declaring their guilt.

    And the only evidence Goodell has to share is the evidence that he chooses. We hear about the 18,000 pages, but he can make his decision on one statement. He gets to keep any exculpatory evidence locked behind closed doors. And it isn’t even clear if he has to share anything at all beyond the same weak powerpoint they shared with the NFLPA. It’s a kangaroo court.

    Is that Goodell’s right under the CBA? Maybe so. But just because he can behave that way doesn’t make it the right thing to do.

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