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Pash urges consideration of full scope of bounty evidence

NFL And Players Continue Court Ordered Mediation Getty Images

In lieu of picking apart one piece of bounty evidence, the NFL wants the NFLPA (and presumably anyone else with concerns or questions) to broaden the lens and look at all of the proof.

“If Mr. Smith speaks to the Commissioner, obviously, we listen to what he has to say and what his thinking is with great respect,” NFL executive V.P. and general counsel Jeff Pash said on Friday’s PFT Live, in response to the then-possibility that the NFLPA would ask that the investigation be started from scratch.  (The NFLPA has since formally requested that the probe be done over.)  “I wish that [Smith] would have come to the hearing on Monday because he would have seen how earnest an effort the Commissioner personally made to have the players comment and tell him what their side of the story is.

“I think [Smith] would have been very impressed by the presentation Mary Jo White made,” Pash added.  “De, as a former federal prosecutor, knows Mary Jo.  I am sure he holds her in the same high regard that lawyers and judges across the country hold her and understands what a consummate professional she is.  He would have had an opportunity to see the evidence and hear the witness statements and how it all weaves together, which is how a good prosecutor puts a case up.  It is a mosaic.  Focusing on any one piece of the mosaic may not tell you very much.  When you put it all together, it paints quite a clear picture.  If De had been able to be here Monday and participate in the hearing, he would have a different view perhaps than what he has today.”

It’s a very good explanation, but it’s unlikely De Smith would feel differently if he had attended the hearing.  This controversy have devolved into a red state/blue state exercise in heel-digging, and the parties have reached diametrically opposed conclusions based on the same pieces of evidence.  Even though Smith didn’t attend, he surely has studied the transcript of the hearing, and based on his request that the investigation be scrapped and re-started Smith still believes that the investigation has serious flaws.

At this point, nothing the NFL says would change De’s mind, and nothing De or anyone else from the NFLPA says would change the league’s mind.

If you’re not inclined to take in the full interview with Jeff Pash, perhaps we can change your mind by making the video immediately available below.  And if you don’t care to watch and listen to the comments, the NFL has done the watching and the listening long enough to type up a full transcript of the session.

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18 Responses to “Pash urges consideration of full scope of bounty evidence”
  1. eaglesfootballfan says: Jun 22, 2012 5:35 PM

    The players involved need to just tell the truth. The entire world knows that there was a bounty system in play.

  2. mdd913 says: Jun 22, 2012 5:40 PM

    So, basically, he wants us to ignore that every single piece of evidence is weak.

    Sorry, Mr. Pash, not buying it. You can have 20 shovelfuls of manure, but putting it all in one place doesn’t make it anything more than a big pile of crap.

  3. randomguy9999 says: Jun 22, 2012 5:46 PM

    regardless of all the blabbing the lawyers are getting paid to do…. some of the perps admitted it…. they got recorded doing it… it happened… we all know it….

    this is one of those common sense things… and despite the american way of squirming until you get a lesser charge and not taking responsibility…

    we know you guys did it…… and you deserve the punishment….

  4. daybreaker2 says: Jun 22, 2012 5:50 PM

    So Pash wants him to look at “all of the evidence” but when he says that, he really just means the evidence they showed on Monday?

    And we’re supposed to trust Mary jo White?

    This is from her press conference in May, announcing that she agreed with Goodell’s decision, claiming he had plenty enough proof:

    “One of the Saints players (current Packers DE Anthony Hargrove) who was disciplined yesterday actually submitted a declaration in which he acknowledged that the program existed, acknowledged his participation and admitted that he lied to the NFL investigators in 2010.”

    I guess she wasnt planning on that letter getting leaked?

    How can we trust anything she says after that???

    Basically, it sounds like Pash is whining that people arent just accepting Goodell’s word for it. And that theyre actually questioning things like “confession” letters that dont confess anything.

  5. calv23 says: Jun 22, 2012 5:51 PM

    Pash want to paint an “impressionistic” picture of the case so if you back up and squint, it looks like the NFL’s picture it’s painted for the last 4 months.

    He doesn’t want anyone moving in closely to see what each little splotch consists of.

  6. silentcount says: Jun 22, 2012 5:55 PM

    Goodell started this whole thing by making the public accusation that the Saints had a three year bounty program where the Saints were being paid to intentionally injure other players. That’s a very serious charge and he went out of his way to make it sound as sinister as possible. Based on the evidence, the Saints are not guilty of what Goodell originally claimed. The only thing linking Vilma was a piece of paper from supposedly 3 years ago that they typed up. Not enough to suspend a player for a year. Sean Payton wasn’t lying when he said there was no bounty system after the first warning. Jokes about pay for hard legal hits is not enough for a year’s suspension. Goodell over reacted and went way overboard in his abuse of power.

  7. wunsa says: Jun 22, 2012 6:31 PM

    It’s uncanny…every time the league has said anything in the last few weeks it’s instantly revealed as flawed logically.

    So a statement heard on the sideline “pay me my money” could ONLY mean that Hargrove, who now the league apparently concedes did not say it, lied about full knowledge of an extensive pay for injury scheme. Quite the leap in logic.

    Keep it up Pash. Everytime you speak your case gets weaker.

  8. silentcount says: Jun 22, 2012 6:32 PM

    After the one playoff game from THREE YEARS AGO, what other evidence CLEARLY supports the claim that a “Bounty system to pay to injure” continued through the end of 2011? Why was Sean Payton suspended a year for? Listen to Joe Vitt, the only credible witness speaking out at the risk of Goodell’s iron fist. Let Sean Payton talk!!!

  9. rbell2123 says: Jun 22, 2012 6:58 PM

    It’s sad that no one will ever admit to there wrong doing and accept responsibility for there actions. They all just want to cry and whine about how unfair it is… Time to grow up and act like Men and accept your punishment. And people wonder why kids today have no respect for anything. look at the role models they have.

  10. geauxjay says: Jun 22, 2012 7:59 PM

    It’s sad that no one will ever admit to there wrong doing and accept responsibility for there actions.

    ————————————–

    You’re right. It’s time for the NFL to admit that their evidence is ridiculously wrong and issue a public apology for prosecuting with no evidence in the court of public opinion.

    But they won’t.

  11. qoojo says: Jun 22, 2012 8:17 PM

    Hargrove got a raw deal as far as I am concerned. He’s getting railroaded because he didn’t rat on his fellow players, like every other player. Yet, because the NFL thought it was him saying, “give me my money” or something like that, he gets targeted as an example.

    Did Hargrove ever say that wasn’t him earlier when this all began?

  12. geefan1 says: Jun 22, 2012 8:46 PM

    I hope when the NFL tires of this nonsense that they turn over all their evidence to county prosecutors and the IRS.

  13. geauxsaintsforever says: Jun 22, 2012 8:50 PM

    I think it’s worth mentioning (and I’m not sure why this point isn’t brought up more often), that the Saints pay-for-performance program included a $200 deduction for any personal foul penalties. So unless I’m missing something, wouldn’t this disincentivize them from illegally trying to injure other players?

    Now this program may not be 100% ethical and completely within the spirit of the rules, but if you’re getting paid only for legal hits that knock an opponent out of the game, it’s an entirely different system in place; i.e., a pay-for-performance system rather than a “bounty” or “pay to injure” program.

    Unfortunately, it seems that the commissioner is way too close-minded to see what everyone else is able to comprehend now with respect to the pay for performance program. And given his stubborness to realize that the Saints players and coaches didn’t lie when they said they didn’t have a bounty program in place, he’s essentially decided he’s going to punish the players and coaches by giving them the equivalent of a 25 year prison sentence for going 10 miles over the speed limit.

    Who Dat!

  14. 6thsense79 says: Jun 23, 2012 12:03 AM

    randomguy9999 says:Jun 22, 2012 5:46 PM

    regardless of all the blabbing the lawyers are getting paid to do…. some of the perps admitted it…. they got recorded doing it… it happened… we all know it….

    this is one of those common sense things… and despite the american way of squirming until you get a lesser charge and not taking responsibility…

    we know you guys did it…… and you deserve the punishment….
    ——————————————-
    This is the bull that I hate. Randomguy9999 what is the “IT” that you seem to think some of the perps admitted to????? Spell it out and qoute it. People are so damn simple minded. If admit to speeding 10 miles over the speed limit does that mean I should accept a charge and punishment of reckless driving?

    As far as I know there has been no one on the Saints wether coach or player who has come out and admitted to running or participating in a bounty program like the NFL has claimed. If there is please give me a word for word quote and site where you saw this admission. I’ve checked google and followed this story closely for a while and I haven’t seen any such admission.

  15. jacksprat57 says: Jun 23, 2012 1:54 AM

    Lawyer Pash should be ashamed of himself for advancing that “argument”. Better “evidence” of INDIVIDUAL “guilt” was presented at the Salem Witch Trials.

    On the plus side, Pash is seemingly ready to give john Grisham a serious run for his publisher’s advances.

  16. GG Eden says: Jun 23, 2012 8:09 AM

    Considering how badly the NFL/Goodell have bungled ‘bountygate’ it’s really amazing that they apparently are winning/won not only capgate, but also the last CBA battle.

    Probably should re-open spygate too. I now wonder if Goodell destroying the spygate evidence wasn’t to protect Belichick/Kraft, but himself!

  17. iknowzeroaboutsports says: Jun 23, 2012 10:25 AM

    What many of you don’t understand is that this is a money issue. The NFL is being sued by former players over the concussion issue which could lead to billions of dollar in judgements. In order to save the sport from bankruptcy, like it or not, the violent hits have to be removed from the game. Sorry.

  18. kodakinvegas says: Jun 23, 2012 6:12 PM

    Pay for performance or pay for injury. Simply a play of words. It. Incentivizes
    Inappropriate actives and is still a violation of NFL rules. Saints fans will NEVER accept there was inappropriate conduct unbecoming of professional athletes. Try this in the OLYMPICS and watch what happens. Yes, part if it is due to concussion suits, but there are also lies, obstruction, aggression, above and beyond, non contractural payments and admissions/apologies of wrong doing by heads of staff. Something was out of kilter. That’s the facts. I still wonder, just how much Goodell is holding back and how many un-named sources are being protected. The NFL’s teamif lawyers and Goodell are not stupid nor are the owners. Vilma and the rest are way out of their league as are De Smith and that idiot Ginsberg. Everything they’ve laid on the table has been tossed out. Don’t that tell you die hard denial fans anything?

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