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NFLPA responds to Pash’s comments about appeal hearing

George Atallah AP

The public game of P.R. ping-pong continues between the league and the NFL Players Association.

On Friday’s PFT Live, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith got the first word, and NFL general counsel Jeff Pash got the last word.  But the discourse continues, well after the show ended.

During PFT Live, Pash explained that Smith, who later asked NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to scrap the investigation and start it again from scratch, may feel differently about the outcome of the probe if Smith had attended Monday’s appeal hearing.

“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.”

Pash’s comments have caused others to question why Smith didn’t attend Monday’s hearing, a fair point given that Smith is, as he said multiple times on Friday, a “steward” of the game.

NFLPA spokesman George Atallah tells PFT that Smith didn’t attend the hearing because he didn’t have a role in it, and because the NFLPA’s defense on behalf of the players consisted of matters unrelated to the merits.  Lawyers Jeffrey Kessler and Richard Smith argued on behalf of the players that Commissioner Roger Goodell lacks jurisdiction, that the suspensions should be dismissed summarily because the NFL disclosed its evidence within 72 hours of the start of the hearing, and that Commissioner Goodell should recuse himself from the proceedings because he already has reached — and publicly supported — a conclusion that the players are guilty as charged.

Besides, Smith isn’t in hiding.

“Roger knows where to find me,” Smith tells PFT.

“Whether or not De was there is irrelevant to the players,” Atallah added.  “He got to
see the documents over the course of three days and didn’t see any other evidence since March.  In short, small pieces of sh-t pieced together might be a mosaic, but it just
amounts to one big mosaic of sh-t.”

Now there’s an image to enjoy, especially as the dinner hour approaches in the East.

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23 Responses to “NFLPA responds to Pash’s comments about appeal hearing”
  1. gbmickey says: Jun 23, 2012 4:01 PM

    He didnt attend becausehe doesnt have a role in it but wants it scrapped. What a load of crap.

  2. dretwann says: Jun 23, 2012 4:14 PM

    What does the NFL stand to gain from all of this? No matter the outcome, this is a cluster f**k. A PR nightmare. What’s worse is, this thing could land in federal court where, at the end of the day, nobody wins. Not the league. Not the players. Not the fans. It is time to let cooler heads prevail and make concessions somewhere to make this and the other mess go away and get back to the whole point: Playing football! From my perspective, everyone involved is ruining the game. It is irrelevant to me who is most at fault. Everyone involved has the opportunity to make things better. Time to put egos in check and get it done with.

  3. captatl says: Jun 23, 2012 4:16 PM

    The NFLPA’s talking head is Georga Attallah. On one hand he claims that the NFL failed to deliver the evidence timely then states that De Smith “(He) got to see the documents over the course of three days”. 3 days George? Exactly as the CBA calls for. It does not state 3 FULL days, but 3 days as you have quoted that De Smith had to review. They were delivered on Friday, which left Saturday and Sunday “Prior” to the hearing date. Fri, Sat, Sun….adds up to 3 days, huh. Everytime the NFLPA gives George a line that they feel clever, George delivers it, without knowing how silly it makes him appear. Apparently the NFLPA has a requirement for that quality in it’s hiring procedure. If so, then they got their man.

  4. rabidmike says: Jun 23, 2012 4:16 PM

    I like Atallah. That’s a fact.

  5. randomguy9999 says: Jun 23, 2012 4:24 PM

    it’s not a nightmare of any kind for the NFL… they have complete authority to do as they wish.

    the Saints had a bounty program and regardless of the particular evidence, they have had numerous guys admit outright to it and get recorded doing it.

    maybe some people got blamed a little more than they deserved….. who cares?

    you play with fire and then want to argue you got hurt when the propane tank blew up?

    whatever… enjoy the suspensions

  6. thedubixcube says: Jun 23, 2012 5:09 PM

    @captatl

    “3 days George? Exactly as the CBA calls for. It does not state 3 FULL days, but 3 days as you have quoted that De Smith had to review. ”

    Actually, the CBA states evidence must be disclosed 72 hours prior to the hearing. You know, 3 FULL days.

  7. sambacker95 says: Jun 23, 2012 5:10 PM

    Although I’m on the players side with the suspensions, I dont understand why the league continues to try to make its case to the public. If I was roger goodell, I wouldnt have shown any evidence to the public. I also wouldnt try to make my case through the public. None of this will matter once training camps start, and as soon as games start, nobody will care the bounty investigations. It makes sense just to be quiet, just say “no comment” to any bounty related questions and move on. The league isnt going to suffer because of this.

  8. tubal22 says: Jun 23, 2012 5:12 PM

    Regardless of which side you’re on, i don’t think your spokesman should be saying “amounts to a mosaic of sh*t” in a public statement.

  9. acetw says: Jun 23, 2012 5:15 PM

    @randomguy9999 – I don’t know where you ridiculous people keep coming up with this stuff. I’m very curious, since not one single player or coach has admitted to any of this, who you think did?

  10. kodakinvegas says: Jun 23, 2012 5:22 PM

    Pash laid it out as simply as it could be. Watch the video. Call it PFP or PFI, it’s still inappropriate and against NFL rules. It’s not hard to tell Saints fans from ain’t fans. Goodell, in proportion to the allegations has been lenient as far as I’m concerned, I would have considered forfeitures and bans. He has the exclusive right and responsibilty to protect the integrity of the league and the protection of multi million dollar athletes. Look at the Olympics, there are NO grey areas. None. These players are squawking, lying and dodging. Goodell needs to bring the hammer down and say CASE CLOSED in no uncertain terms. Let’s get back to football. IMO, deMaurice Smith and Ginsberg are idiots at best. They need to learn when to shut up. As for Vilma, once his case is dismissed, I hope the NFL and Goodell sue him for breach of contract. “CBA agreement not to sue”. and Goodell for libel and defamation. What goes around, comes around. The evidence is there and the head staff have kept their mouths SHUT. That’s an indictment all of it’s own. Ridiculous.

  11. chickenneck says: Jun 23, 2012 6:02 PM

    The NFL needs to back off all the suspensions. Although at first I just assumed the saints were guilty as sin, the more stuff that comes along the more it looks like it was just a pay for performance program funded mostly by the players. Its against the rules and they should be punished, but its a far cry from a pay for injury scheme which should be SEVERELY punished. To use a metaphor, it seems like the Aints got charged with DUI when they should have just gotten a speeding ticket. They lost a second round pick this year, that is enough punishment for what has been proven, its time to let all the saints coaches and players get back to work now unless the NFL can really prove they are guilty of a pay for injure scheme.

  12. chickenneck says: Jun 23, 2012 6:37 PM

    Does anyone remember what the punishment was when the 49ers were disregarding the salary cap and winning championships? it’s been so long, but it seems like there was much less of an issue made back then, and if I recall correctly they were doing a lot more to violate the cap than have a small time pay for performance bounty system.

  13. daknight93 says: Jun 23, 2012 6:39 PM

    Saints were wrong for having a pay-for-performance program which is a salary cap violation and other teams have done same thing..a disgruntled ex-saints employee was extremely bitter at Sean Payton and Gregg Williams because he couldn’t get another nfl job and had to take a college job..so he decided to get even by informing goodell of saints pay for performance program and goodell eyes got big and decided to entertain this drama and do his best to turn the program into a bounty which it wasn’t and now here we are nflpa and league fighting again over this issue like it’s a lockout again…red vs. blue…really sad

  14. stew48 says: Jun 23, 2012 6:46 PM

    It is now very obvious this was a grave mistake by the league. And, there is a simple explanation why the league will not back down. It has nothing to do with safety, fair play, money or any other excuse. The simple explanation is a very short word——ego.

    Just think of the 32 owner egos who pay RG an auful lot of money; the ego of RG, enormous and of all the others associated with this farce. Now, if any of you genius types have an answer to help them escape, please let them know.

  15. crabboil says: Jun 23, 2012 7:27 PM

    Atallah for the win. That was hilarious. Most of the commenters above me are far to uppity to see that.

  16. evidenceprobe says: Jun 23, 2012 7:48 PM

    Um I think the answer would be a court of law. They may not escape the punishments but clearing their names would be just. And also showing the ROG for what he really is.

  17. reporterofthetruth says: Jun 23, 2012 9:41 PM

    Goddell can continue to stand behind his decision, a decision that is suspect at best, and end up fighting this thing in Federal Courts. I doubt that will be what anyone wanted, owners included. So the logical thing to do is eliminate the player suspensions.

  18. cwwgk says: Jun 23, 2012 10:55 PM

    How utterly unprofessional. It reeks of desperation.

  19. 6thsense79 says: Jun 23, 2012 11:18 PM

    captatl says:Jun 23, 2012 4:16 PM

    The NFLPA’s talking head is Georga Attallah. On one hand he claims that the NFL failed to deliver the evidence timely then states that De Smith “(He) got to see the documents over the course of three days”. 3 days George? Exactly as the CBA calls for. It does not state 3 FULL days, but 3 days as you have quoted that De Smith had to review. They were delivered on Friday, which left Saturday and Sunday “Prior” to the hearing date. Fri, Sat, Sun….adds up to 3 days, huh. Everytime the NFLPA gives George a line that they feel clever, George delivers it, without knowing how silly it makes him appear. Apparently the NFLPA has a requirement for that quality in it’s hiring procedure. If so, then they got their man.
    ————————————
    What is it with this 3 “full” day nonsense? Last I check a Day equals 24 hours. Anything less is not a day. What are you going to tell us next? 45minutes = 1hour? 3 seconds = 1 minute? Really guys? I knew I wasn’t dealing with Einsteins here but I at least expected to spar with folks above a 5th grade education…..no offense to 5th graders.

  20. jpmelon says: Jun 24, 2012 1:57 AM

    If the CBA was supposed to stipulate 72 hours, it should have said 72 hours. Instead, it says 3 calendar days. So the argument can be made that if the hearing is on Monday, then the evidence should be submitted by end of day on Friday…..which means that the evidence was in everyones hands for 3 calendar “dates” before the hearing (June 15th, 16th and 17th before the 18th).

    If 72 hours was the intention, why was it not written that way? Arguments can be made three ways….a calendar day could be 24 hours (starting at any point during the day), it could be a date with every hour from Midnight to 11:59pm (meaning the evidence was due by 11:59pm on Thursday), or it could be a fraction of a day.

    When someone says “that happened a day ago”, that doesn’t necessarily mean it happened 24 hours ago….it means it happened yesterday. The vague nature of the phrase will allow the NFL to dismiss the NFLPA’s argument about the 72 hours.

  21. cwwgk says: Jun 24, 2012 9:13 AM

    Atallah actually rendered the whole three day issue moot. He stated that there was nothing in the exhibits that the NFLPA had already seen, or been in possession of, since March.

    The point of exchanging exhibits a certain amount of time in advance of a hearing is to allow for adequate time for each party to prepare. The NFL and NFLPA agreed in the CBA that three days would be sufficient. Since the NFLPA had the exhibits in question for three months (March-June) they had more than ample time to prepare.

    Technical violations of a procedural rule which don’t deprive a party’s ability to prepare are not grounds to vacate substantive rulings.

  22. winner2277 says: Jun 24, 2012 9:47 AM

    captatl says:
    “(He) got to see the documents over the course of three days”. 3 days George?

    _______________________________

    Really? So, in your world 2.5 days is equal to 3? 2.75 is equal to 3? 2.25 is equal to 3? Where is YOUR line at, because one day is equal to 24 hours, meaning 3 days is no less than 72 hours. If it was ONE hour short, it was NOT 3 days. Your argument is very poor and your hate is very strong. All that hate will consume you. Wait, it already has. I feel very sorry for people like you.

  23. winner2277 says: Jun 24, 2012 9:50 AM

    randomguy9999 says:
    the Saints had a bounty program and regardless of the particular evidence, they have had numerous guys admit outright to it and get recorded doing it.

    _________________________________

    Then you can provide the url’s that support what you claim here. I can’t wait to see that. Name the players that have admitted to a BOUNTY system. Then show the web page that supports what you say. Do this not and your hatred will glow even brighter. How about making more intelligent post, if you are capable. With this one, it appears you are not.

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