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Tagliabue’s bounty hearing will be held on October 30

2006-08-08-topper-goodell Getty Images

The NFL officially has announced that Commissioner Roger Goodell has handed the baton to former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue as to the appeal hearing in the bounty cases.

The league’s full statement is right here.

The hearing will be held on October 30, at a place and time to be determined by Tagliabue.

“I have held two hearings to date,” Commissioner Goodell said in the statement, “and have modified the discipline in several respects based on my recent meetings with the players. To bring this matter to a prompt and fair conclusion, I have appointed former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue to serve as the hearing officer for the upcoming appeals. Paul Tagliabue is a genuine football authority whose tenure as commissioner was marked by his thorough and judicious approach to all matters. He has many years of experience in NFL collective bargaining matters and an impeccable reputation for integrity.

“To be clear, I have not consulted with Paul Tagliabue at any point about the Saints matter nor has he been any part of the process. Furthermore, under our process the hearing officer has full authority and complete independence to decide the appeal and determine any procedural issues regarding the hearings. I will have no role in the upcoming hearings or in Mr. Tagliabue’s decisions.”

The decision will make it harder for the players to challenge the outcome in court, given that Goodell has conclusively addressed what had been the players’ strongest argument.  If, however, Tagliabue upholds the decision without adjustment, the players surely will argue that Tagliabue is merely carrying Goodell’s water.

In the coming days, it’ll be interesting to see whether Tagliabue specifically requests that certain witnesses be present for the hearing, and/or that certain documents generated through the investigation be introduced at the hearing.  Whether and to what extent Tagliabue expects information at the hearing that the league previously hadn’t disclosed could demonstrate that Tagliabue plans to take a much different approach.

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48 Responses to “Tagliabue’s bounty hearing will be held on October 30”
  1. jjb0811 says: Oct 19, 2012 2:24 PM

    Hopefully the players have a chance to have a fair trial where all evidence is provided and be able to cross examined. If guilty, suspend them. But this witch hunt of being found guilty before trial needed to end!

  2. gmen1987 says: Oct 19, 2012 2:25 PM

    Throw the book at these criminal elements, Commisioner Tagliabue.

  3. hummer53 says: Oct 19, 2012 2:26 PM

    Pretty slick move by Goodell.

  4. mdd913 says: Oct 19, 2012 2:29 PM

    I trust that Tagliabue has the integrity to actually sort through the evidence and hand down a fair ruling. I don’t think he’s the kind of person who would put himself in Goodell’s back pocket to carry on a sham proceeding.

    I fully expect to see the Saints at least partially exonerated. They are guilty to some extent of running a PFP program and some salary cap violations, but they shouldn’t be punished for a pay-for-injury scheme when the evidence says it didn’t happen.

    Whatever the case, I have faith that Tagliabue will do the right thing.

  5. broncobrewer says: Oct 19, 2012 2:32 PM

    He did allow the Eagles to have a bounty program in 96. So he shouldn’t have a problem with the saint not haven’t one now

  6. louisianafootballfan says: Oct 19, 2012 2:34 PM

    I think this is a very fair move. I always thought Tagliabue handled things well, and I have no doubt this will be the same. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

  7. purplegreenandgold says: Oct 19, 2012 2:35 PM

    “To be clear, I have not consulted with Paul Tagliabue at any point about the Saints matter nor has he been any part of the process.
    ======================================
    soon after this statement was made a loud “WHOOSH” sound was heard and everyone threw water on RGs lower extremity

  8. TheRichMeister says: Oct 19, 2012 2:38 PM

    RG is a knee-jerker.

  9. basballguy says: Oct 19, 2012 2:38 PM

    You want to fix the NFL? Make David Stern commissioner for a day.

  10. tiggerblood says: Oct 19, 2012 2:45 PM

    ? That’s all I got. Besides new commisoner, please appoint a new commish had enough of this fake.

  11. phillyphever says: Oct 19, 2012 2:48 PM

    broncobrewer says:
    Oct 19, 2012 2:32 PM

    He did allow the Eagles to have a bounty program in 96. So he shouldn’t have a problem with the saint not haven’t one now

    White was with the Packers, not the Eagles.

  12. nimbushex says: Oct 19, 2012 2:50 PM

    Can Goodell please give him the commissioner job back as well? You never know what you had until it’s gone.

  13. damnskins703 says: Oct 19, 2012 2:51 PM

    I wish they could get rid of Goodell he is garbage has no clue about the game of football or their fans

  14. 6thsense79 says: Oct 19, 2012 2:53 PM

    To be clear, I have not consulted with Paul Tagliabue at any point about the Saints matter nor has he been any part of the process.
    ——————-

    Yea but has anyone from your office or who has been a part of the investigation contacted Tags to review the case?

  15. 7swag7 says: Oct 19, 2012 2:53 PM

    This case is about 1 thing: manufacturing evidedence for the defense (the owners) in the pending class action suit, to show that the players are, collectively, responsible for their own injuries. Tagliabue/Goodell/Owners will all give the same reposnse.

  16. cwwgk says: Oct 19, 2012 2:54 PM

    Judge Berrigan can now go ahead and grant the league’s motion to dismiss. Whatever flicker of a legitimate legal case the players may have had is now extinguished.

    The judicial system does not involve itself in disputes governed by collective bargaining agreements absent exceedingly rare circumstances. By appointing Tagliabue, Goodell has removed all possibility of this case being one of those rare exceptions.

    The players wanted someone other than Goodell to hear the appeals, now they will. There is nothing left for them to complain about to Judge Berrigan.

    Case closed.

  17. realitypolice says: Oct 19, 2012 2:56 PM

    As much as I don’t like him, this is a brilliant move by Goodell.

    This will allow Tags to impose drastically reduced suspensions that the players might actually accept with the commissioner losing face.

  18. flannlv says: Oct 19, 2012 3:00 PM

    I wonder if Tagliabue is going to receive the 50,000* pp. of documents, or only receive the 200 pp. Goodell relied upon* in making his decision?

  19. twisteditoff says: Oct 19, 2012 3:01 PM

    his ruleing will be something like this he will recomend that the loserania aint forfit there sb trophy and disolve the team and will be forever knowen that aints from loserania are cheeters in this modern day of nfl

  20. boyshole25 says: Oct 19, 2012 3:11 PM

    Smart move by goodell. Guy isn’t dumb

  21. samapoc says: Oct 19, 2012 3:24 PM

    I don’t see how this is a smart move. Can’t Goodell use outside counsel? Why bring in someone who is clearly biased, tied to Goodell, and with a potential agenda which is to get more NFL business? Goodell should have removed himself at the start of this nonsense.

    Instead, find a former federal judge from a non-football state for a one time hearing.

    I will be impressed if the evidence that the NFL supposedly has is reviewed in a fair manner. Another hollow ruling for the NFL based on testimony coerced from people with conflicting stories will leave me apathetic to the NFL.

  22. harrisonhits2 says: Oct 19, 2012 3:30 PM

    Too bad he didn’t have it a day later. This circus has Halloween written all over it.

    Trick or treat Saints lol

  23. andrewproughcfe says: Oct 19, 2012 3:31 PM

    Maybe Tagliabue can also go ahead and give Belichick and Kraft the multi-year suspensions or lifetime bans they so richly deserved from stealing 3 Super Bowl trophies.

  24. genericuser8888 says: Oct 19, 2012 3:38 PM

    Realistically, Tagliabue probably has a slight bias toward his former protege (Goodell) and his former employers. Still, I think there is a slam chance that he will rule differently than Roger Goodell, if only because he doesn’t want to taint his legacy as a generally well-liked NFL commish.

    I was quite happy to see Tagliabue’s name mentioned.

    I don’t think it is a good sign for the league that I groan with tiredness at the mention of Goodell’s name, but think fondly of Tagliabue’s time, when the commish was an afterthought in football. Happier times.

  25. weepingjebus says: Oct 19, 2012 3:45 PM

    If they get reduced Goodell can at least say (whether true or not) that the process at least was fair and neutral, and if the suspensions and discipline are upheld, they’ll have the imprimatur of effectively two NFL commissioners. Smart roll of the dice.

  26. silentcount says: Oct 19, 2012 3:47 PM

    It’s being reported that Tagliabue has been one of the lawyers representing Goodell in his lawsuit from the players. If that’s true, then can he really be considered unbiased?

  27. realfann says: Oct 19, 2012 3:47 PM

    Too little, too late.

  28. dhnguyen66 says: Oct 19, 2012 3:48 PM

    Goodell’s a football fascist, but he sure is slick.

    One probably has to do with the other.

  29. neemdaddy13 says: Oct 19, 2012 3:50 PM

    Ban them all Tagliabue!!

  30. thegreatgabbert says: Oct 19, 2012 3:56 PM

    Mo said that Roger was biased about the whole affair. Roger said, “Well, REEEE..CUSE me!”.

  31. dmacd2 says: Oct 19, 2012 4:17 PM

    I never understand why all the hate for Goddell, is it because he was the commish for the lockout? Or actually trying to get guys to be accountable like all employees are for their companies? You’d think this guy has moved every team to Canada or something. What he has looked at he believes the Saints had a bounty, which the judge did state if you ahve taken money for someone getting hurt is a bounty. He has three witnesses who have told him as much. He has the coach not fighting it. I wonder why you all hate him. Its not like he brought in replacement players like Tags. If its all Saints fans who hate him I might understand. I actually hope Tags comes out with the same decision.

  32. musicman495 says: Oct 19, 2012 4:20 PM

    cwwgk says: Oct 19, 2012 2:54 PM

    Judge Berrigan can now go ahead and grant the league’s motion to dismiss. Whatever flicker of a legitimate legal case the players may have had is now extinguished.

    The judicial system does not involve itself in disputes governed by collective bargaining agreements absent exceedingly rare circumstances. By appointing Tagliabue, Goodell has removed all possibility of this case being one of those rare exceptions.

    The players wanted someone other than Goodell to hear the appeals, now they will. There is nothing left for them to complain about to Judge Berrigan.

    Case closed.
    ——————————–
    Just for the record,”experts” have been saying “case closed” on this case since March, and the case is still open. In fact, the more of Goodell’s so-called 50,000 pages of “evidence” come to light, the weaker the case gets.

  33. bearnmind says: Oct 19, 2012 4:29 PM

    Its impossible to unbreak an egg. The whole process has been tainted. Not sure why Tagliabue would step into this mess.

  34. spideysdog says: Oct 19, 2012 4:34 PM

    dmacd2 says:
    Oct 19, 2012 4:17 PM
    I never understand why all the hate for Goddell, is it because he was the commish for the lockout? Or actually trying to get guys to be accountable like all employees are for their companies? You’d think this guy has moved every team to Canada or something. What he has looked at he believes the Saints had a bounty, which the judge did state if you ahve taken money for someone getting hurt is a bounty. He has three witnesses who have told him as much. He has the coach not fighting it. I wonder why you all hate him. Its not like he brought in replacement players like Tags. If its all Saints fans who hate him I might understand. I actually hope Tags comes out with the same decision.

    ————————————————–

    Well, where do you wanna start? The Lockout? The sham of a start of this season with College Reject Referees? The lack of transparency? The complete bumbling of the Saint’s ordeal? The arrogance he has responded to each step with?

    I think there is a WIDE variety of reasons that fans hate RG. I choose ALL of the above! I think the only way to judge a commissioner is by asking oneself the simple question: Is the product better now than it was when he took over? My answer to that is NO. that’s my reason.

  35. purplegreenandgold says: Oct 19, 2012 4:39 PM

    “his ruleing will be something like this he will recomend that the loserania aint forfit there sb trophy and disolve the team and will be forever knowen that aints from loserania are cheeters in this modern day of nfl”
    ======================================
    suddenly the alarm clock goes off… and you realize the penalty phase is over…

  36. thestewman3 says: Oct 19, 2012 4:45 PM

    I love how all the hate the Goodell get’s, yet I keep asking Saint’s fans: Where is your Owner in all of this? If this is such an blatant miscarriage of justice, why dosen’t Benson say so?

    If I where a Saint’s fan I would be picketing the owner to come to the defense of his franchise, of his players, GM and coaches. To say that this is all about nothing and that Goodell just has it in for his club.

    Or is perhaps that Benson knows the truth which is that their was a pay for cartoffs program in place.

  37. daveman8403 says: Oct 19, 2012 4:59 PM

    thestewman3

    Goodell represents the 32 owners. In essence, taking action against Goodell is like taking action against himself. Goodell has a contract, and in order to “overthrow” him, he would need to get at least half the other owners to go in with him. This would be a last resort for the owners, as ousting Goodell would give the league a huge black eye. They entrusted him to “protect the shield”. a vote of no confidence for a guy they appointed to represent them would severely hurt them, especially at this time with the upcoming concussion law suits.

    Benson is not going to go against all other 31 owners. If you haven’t noticed the owners aren’t taking the heat on this, Goodell is, and the owners like it that way. Not much Benson can do.

  38. geefan1 says: Oct 19, 2012 5:21 PM

    I hope Tags restores the original suspensions.

  39. FinFan68 says: Oct 19, 2012 6:23 PM

    daveman8403,
    There’s not much Brees and the other players could do either but that hasn’t stopped them from speaking out (of turn). Benson has not defended anyone in this mess. The only thing I remember him saying was that he didn’t plan on firing Loomis or Payton. Benson has nothing to lose by speaking out. I suspect that he has been shown enough to realize that his house was dirty and there is no sense in claiming it wasn’t.

  40. bgrab1 says: Oct 19, 2012 6:27 PM

    My first thought on hearing that Tags had been appointment was that it was a smart move by roger. Now, after learning that he works in the same law firm that represents the NFL and roger in the federals suits in NO, I have to believe that it will backfire on him big time. Any notion that Tags can be fair and impartial is nonsense. Let ‘s put this in perspective – Tags is partners with the lawyers who represent roger and the NFL, who by the way have a keen interest in seeing that the suspensions are upheld. No way in Hades does Tags rule in favor of Vilma, as doing so would clearly be a boost to Vilma’s defamation suit.

    Of all the people in the US of A that could have been appointed, roger chose someone who works for the law firm that represents him. Un-freakig-believable!!!

  41. thesmedman says: Oct 19, 2012 6:27 PM

    This will beef up Tags’ HOF cred for sure :). It will move those on the fence about him.

  42. thesmedman says: Oct 19, 2012 6:27 PM

    Why not Buddy Ryan?

  43. larrydavid7000 says: Oct 19, 2012 6:59 PM

    So now GODdell needs help from the really comis. Pathetic Hopeless and Sad.!!!!!!!!

  44. djaehne says: Oct 19, 2012 7:17 PM

    The players involved are doing what every minority in the world does. After they are found guilty, they lie to you enough times to make a few mindless idiots start believing the liars. Its how every democrat gets elected in America.

  45. louisianafootballfan says: Oct 19, 2012 7:40 PM

    For those of you saying Benson hasn’t spoken out, yes he has. He has met with Goodell more than once regarding his opinions on this. He even hired the Freeh group for an independent investigation.

  46. justintuckrule says: Oct 19, 2012 7:46 PM

    Open your eyes people!! Tags is being paid HUGE DOLLARS to come in and clean up this mess. Watch what happens. He’ll dismiss bounty gate in exchange for the players dropping their civil suits. Guaranteed.

  47. justintuckrule says: Oct 19, 2012 7:55 PM

    Can you spell highly paid scapegoat?

  48. FinFan68 says: Oct 20, 2012 2:57 PM

    louisianafootballfan says:
    Oct 19, 2012 7:40 PM
    For those of you saying Benson hasn’t spoken out, yes he has. He has met with Goodell more than once regarding his opinions on this. He even hired the Freeh group for an independent investigation.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Sure. He talked to Goodell and had somebody else investigate. I don’t remember seeing what came of that investigation. If the results were different then all the Saints fans would have been pointing to that relentlessly. Benson has not said anything remotely like his players are innocent. He has remained silent.

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