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Goodell upholds suspensions for Vilma, Hargrove, Smith, Fujita

Roger Goodell AP

In news that should come as a surprise to no one, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has decided not to change the discipline of the four players he suspended in the league’s investigation into the Saints’ bounty program.

That means Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma will continue to be suspended for the entire year, Packers defensive end Anthony Hargrove will continue to be suspended for the first eight games of the season, Saints defensive end Will Smith will continue to be suspended for the first four games of the season and Browns linebacker Scott Fujita will continue to be suspended for the first three games of the season.

And that’s the result everyone — including the four players — expected: No one seriously believed that the players had any real chance of convincing Goodell to change his mind, and the only real question is why Goodell waited until Tuesday afternoon to make his decision. He could have issued his ruling on the day he conducted the appeal hearing.

Now the players will move on to what they’ve termed “Phase Two” of their fight, which will entail going to court to seek a preliminary injunction barring the NFL from implementing the suspensions. And the NFL will continue to state that Goodell has final say, and has issued his final appealing: The players’ suspensions will stand.

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49 Responses to “Goodell upholds suspensions for Vilma, Hargrove, Smith, Fujita”
  1. thankheavenfornumberseven says: Jul 3, 2012 3:57 PM

    I did not see that coming.

  2. sawasta says: Jul 3, 2012 4:00 PM

    Like sand through the hourglass, so our the days of our lives…

  3. northeastkiller says: Jul 3, 2012 4:00 PM

    I’m sure it was a soul searching, heartwrenching 12 days or whatever it was, Goodell, lol.

    Onto Phase 2, hopefully the players will have more luck there.

  4. brewcrewfan54 says: Jul 3, 2012 4:01 PM

    Who would have thought the guy who suspended them and then was the same guy they appealed to would make the same decision. Nice contract you agreed to there NFLPA.

  5. pooflingingmonkey says: Jul 3, 2012 4:01 PM

    Cue up the Saints fans whining about a conspiracy, or unfair treatment, or a power-mad Commissioner…

  6. nyyjetsknicks says: Jul 3, 2012 4:02 PM

    Today is July 3rd. This is the place we are posting things we already know, right?

  7. thraiderskin says: Jul 3, 2012 4:03 PM

    This is a jumbled mess, while i still believe in the bounty program, the NFL could atleast take a hold of public opinion by releasing the info. Please, show us how all these guys were actually involved and that they aren’t just being scapegoated as team leaders.

  8. panamon says: Jul 3, 2012 4:03 PM

    Time for a bunch of people SURE this is apparently biased that somehow KNOW what all the evidence is. Probably something about a conspiracy and how Goodell should be fired despite us not knowing what he does.

  9. egreen4590 says: Jul 3, 2012 4:04 PM

    He waited so long to announce his decision to make it seem like he was actually contemplating it when in reality he never gave it a second thought.

  10. geauxjay says: Jul 3, 2012 4:04 PM

    Hargrove got screwed. Goodell suspends him because he thinks he’s asking for money for somebody else’s hit.

  11. cwmorga says: Jul 3, 2012 4:05 PM

    @Florio

    and the only real question is why Goodell waited until Tuesday afternoon to make his decision. He could have issued his ruling on the day he conducted the appeal hearing.
    —————-

    The NFL is notorious for burying stories late on Fridays or on holidays. Not surprised they’d wait until late on the eve of a holiday.

    I really hope this goes to court. Goodell could’ve saved some face by reducing the penalties in light of MAJOR flaws in the investigation. He’s lost the players, and better enjoy this power while he has it because he won’t retain it in the next CBA (assuming the NFL isn’t bankrupt long before then).

  12. northeastkiller says: Jul 3, 2012 4:06 PM

    4 PM before a holiday on top of it…what a tried and true PR hack Rog is.

  13. shoestorm says: Jul 3, 2012 4:06 PM

    Godell bores me at this point.

  14. canadianvikingfaniii says: Jul 3, 2012 4:07 PM

    Whether the players were suspended or not, I cannot wait for this whole debacle to be over. I’m getting sick of hearing about this all the time, like a Brett Favre, Tim Tebow or L.A. story. Bring on the season opener!

  15. geauxjay says: Jul 3, 2012 4:07 PM

    This is shameful. Goodell sits on the decision for two weeks and then he drops it an hour before everybody’s gone for a holiday, destroying the proper news cycle and silencing the critics. It’s so obvious what he’s doing, and nobody cares.

  16. really2011 says: Jul 3, 2012 4:08 PM

    pooflingingmonkey says:
    Jul 3, 2012 4:01 PM
    Cue up the Saints fans whining about a conspiracy, or unfair treatment, or a power-mad Commissioner…
    ————————————————-

    No need the decision was expected and the facts have been sufficiently jaded for both sides to admit that we have no idea what did or didn’t happen.

    In terms of the cue though… Cue up the ignorant and intelligence challenged to say things like the coaches already admitted to it so “man up.” Even if you ignore all of the talk about the coaches having a carrot dangled or their ability to talk being suppressed – do realize that they didn’t admit to a bounty program.

    At this point even as a Saints fan I am tired of it and can’t wait for it to go away.

  17. bullwnkl985 says: Jul 3, 2012 4:08 PM

    Announcement comes at approximately 4pm on the day before a federal holiday…. coincidence, I think not!

  18. electricvibe says: Jul 3, 2012 4:08 PM

    Criticism of Goodell is misplaced on this one. He didn’t uphold penalties because he levied them. He upheld them because players didn’t present a case.

  19. bigperm33 says: Jul 3, 2012 4:10 PM

    the message from Goodell is take your punishment, keep your mouth shut, and then meet with him, look him in the eye, and tell him what he wants to hear. Do that, like Roethlisberger did, and you can get your suspension reduced. But stand up for yourself, and Goodell won’t budge.

  20. patriots123456 says: Jul 3, 2012 4:10 PM

    Did anyone actually think he was going to overturn himself?

  21. geauxjay says: Jul 3, 2012 4:14 PM

    Goodell says that they did nothing to counter the evidence the NFL collected.

    You know, the evidence they refused to share with them.

  22. saints97 says: Jul 3, 2012 4:14 PM

    Did he tell everyone that his reason for upholding the decision was the mountain of evidence he has against them? Obviously, he has only brought out the weak evidence at first. He’s saving the good stuff for a book or something.

  23. brewcrewfan54 says: Jul 3, 2012 4:15 PM

    Goodell is power hungry but the players have only themselves and their union leaders to thank for that.

  24. dryzzt23 says: Jul 3, 2012 4:15 PM

    Victory for the NFL and owners!

    I am so happy that Goodell finally told the players that certain behaviors will not be tolerated by the league.

    The tail (players/NFLPA) cannot wag the dog (NFL/Owners)

  25. denverdave3 says: Jul 3, 2012 4:18 PM

    Good for you Goodell. Clean up the league of this kind of behavior.

  26. mornelithe says: Jul 3, 2012 4:18 PM

    “And that’s the result everyone — including the four players — expected: No one seriously believed that the players had any real chance of convincing Goodell to change his mind, and the only real question is why Goodell waited until Tuesday afternoon to make his decision. He could have issued his ruling on the day he conducted the appeal hearing.”

    Not that any of the players actually attempted to change his mind in any way, shape or form, especially and not limited to the 3 specific occasions the league gave them to do so.

    I guess maybe I’d be allot more sympathetic to these players if they’d truly attempted to prove their, case at any time.

  27. chetwynnr says: Jul 3, 2012 4:18 PM

    It doesn’t matter much what we say as fans. I can say that I think that Goodell has made himself a mountain out of a mole hill as a power play. What I can do is to suspend NFL football from my household for a year. Who knows, I may find something I enjoy more.

  28. nomercy2012 says: Jul 3, 2012 4:19 PM

    Don’t like any of your teams – nyyjetsknicks but this:

    “Today is July 3rd. This is the place we are posting things we already know, right?”

    Pretty funny.

  29. tizomps says: Jul 3, 2012 4:19 PM

    Drew Brees wants an explanation.

  30. truthhurtstoo says: Jul 3, 2012 4:20 PM

    Can we now stop ALL the whining? Enough already

  31. footballchic777 says: Jul 3, 2012 4:20 PM

    Well, I would say the longer he delayed, the longer he could try to keep Phase 2 @ bay! The NFLPA was stupid to allow this type of singular control to start with, and the fans have to stand by and watch while Roger the Magnificient pontificates from his throne, and dictates to all of his subjects all his decrees! Roger, you are a major idiot! I hope that in some future portion of Phase 2, you are forced to SHOW PROOF so that we can get passed this!

  32. geauxsaintsforever says: Jul 3, 2012 4:21 PM

    Over/under set at 38 seconds for the amount of time it takes a “clever” commentor from posting that Drew Brees needs an explanation…Which side are you taking?

  33. whodatgirl1 says: Jul 3, 2012 4:23 PM

    Shock of the Century!!!!!

    (sarcasm implied)

  34. eastcoastninerfan says: Jul 3, 2012 4:24 PM

    nyyjetsknicks says:
    Jul 3, 2012 4:02 PM
    Today is July 3rd. This is the place we are posting things we already know, right?
    • • • • • • • • 
    Ha, tell that to Fred Davis!

  35. purplescar says: Jul 3, 2012 4:25 PM

    Bounty schmounty … as a Vikings fan I’d like to know when the refs are going to get a bit of scrutiny

  36. discosucs2005 says: Jul 3, 2012 4:25 PM

    I still don’t agree with Vilma getting a year only because it’s equal to the head coach. A coach is more responsible for the actions of a team then a single player. I don’t care if you make Vilma’s suspension shorter or Payton’s longer, but they shouldn’t be equal.

  37. geefan1 says: Jul 3, 2012 4:29 PM

    Considering the players made no effort to change his mind or offer any new information that might have changed the NFL’s view, what other outcome could their have been?

  38. parttimer1 says: Jul 3, 2012 4:31 PM

    Years of planing and months of negociation by some of the best teams of contract attornies in the world and… every point and contention of the agreed upon contract will be challenged and disputed for its entire term. In fact the NFLPA has publicly stated it will fight and contest EVERY move the NFL proposes. SOOO… why bother to even have any type of contract, no matter where negociations left you at the point of signing, you planed to challenge all agreed upon points as if there were non. Guess what, the NFL loses, the NFLPA loses, and the Fans lose, so who are the only winners? The lawyers are the only ones that won and keep wining. Conspiricy…May be…

  39. chargersfan4life says: Jul 3, 2012 4:38 PM

    Shocking, he ruled the case, and ruled the appeal process.

  40. ilovefoolsball says: Jul 3, 2012 4:46 PM

    Aww I thought for a second Goodell had grown a conscience and was going to take a deep breath and reflect on what he’s doing…but then I remembered that iron fist dictators don’t need air, they’re barely human.

  41. randomcommenter says: Jul 3, 2012 4:51 PM

    Allow me to illustrate the nfl appeal process.

    Commish- I suspend you for 4 games
    Player- are you sure?
    commish- Yup

    But I don’t feel sorry for the players. They were dumb enough to agree to this in their last contract with the league.

    All that’s left is for Roger of house Lannister to put their heads on spikes.

  42. pftcensorssuck says: Jul 3, 2012 5:59 PM

    When you fail to produce evidence that supports your innocence, your appeal is most likely going to fail.

  43. buccaroo989 says: Jul 3, 2012 8:29 PM

    The saints players are acting like criminals.the only defense any have used so far is to discredit the process because the evidence has been overwhelming. Now they still refuse to talk to Godell because they would not be able to keep telling everyone he wouldn’t listen. I would love to see them actually address the evidence for once.

  44. randallflagg52 says: Jul 3, 2012 9:02 PM

    Drew Brees want’s an explanation.

    Tiki is flabbergasted.

    Terry Bradshaw is dead.

    But seriously, is anyone surprised that Judge/Jury/Excutioner Goodell upheld the suspensions?

  45. 10tender says: Jul 3, 2012 9:26 PM

    I LOVE IT!

  46. silentcount says: Jul 3, 2012 10:04 PM

    The 3 year pay to intentionally injure bounty system was all supposedly based on Vilma offering money in a game 3 years ago. If Vilma didn’t actually do that, as he claims, and the original “witness” has recanted his story, then the whole thing is indeed a slander. Goodell had a chance to admit his mistakes, but instead he’s still trying the bluff tactic. If he thinks he can win in a game of chicken with Vilma, then he doesn’t have a clue.

  47. urbusted2 says: Jul 3, 2012 10:57 PM

    Like this stuff didn’t happen before. This isn’t flag football. It’s a violent sport. You can’t block and tackle people without someone getting carried away. Not then, not now, not ever.

  48. footballchic777 says: Jul 3, 2012 11:35 PM

    Players are failing to produce EVIDENCE OF THEIR INNOCENCE? Players are acting guilty because they are trying to discredit EVIDENCE AGAINST THEM! First of all, it is the job of the prosecution (Goodell), to provide proof of guilt, NOT the job of the accused (players) to provide proof of evidence! And we have seen NO “proof” of guilt! So by seeing no proof, the players are defending themselves the only way they can. Refuting what was shown. The only problem is that what was shown sonfar

  49. footballchic777 says: Jul 3, 2012 11:39 PM

    sorry…hit wrong key! what was shown was not enough to prove guilt. Roger has gotten to big for his britches, and will not admit he erred, so he can try to save face. This is all done in an effort to try to make Roger look good before the concussion lawsuit!

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