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NFLPA says it will file motion to recuse Paul Tagliabue

Upshaw_Tagliabue_3061440.standard AP

The NFL Players Association hasn’t, and won’t, ask former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue to step aside from the arbitration of the player suspensions in the bounty case.  Instead, the NFLPA will ask Judge Helen Berrigan to bounce Tagliabue.

The union has announced that a motion to recuse Tagliabue, who was appointed by current Commissioner Roger Goodell five days ago, will be filed on Wednesday.

“To comply with the Court-ordered schedule, we will be making a motion under the CBA to recuse Paul Tagliabue today, and will be subsequently filing those papers with the Court,” the union said in a statement.  “We will have no further comment related to these filings.”

The NFL must respond to the motion by Friday at 5:00 p.m. CT, and the players have the final word, with a brief due by 12:00 p.m. CT on Monday.

A decision will need to be made quickly.  The hearing before Tagliabue currently is set for Tuesday, October 30.

The NFLPA believes that Tagliabue has a conflict of interest, given that he works for the law firm that represents the NFL in the bounty cases and other matters.  Also, the NFLPA plans to call Tagliabue as a witness in the bounty cases, given that the NFL reportedly tolerated player-funded “pay-for-performance” programs in the 1990s, when Tagliabue served as the Commissioner.

UPDATE 1:54 p.m. ET:  A source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma will join in the NFLPA’s effort.  Since Vilma has his own counsel, the NFLPA is representing only Saints defensive end Will Smith, Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, and free-agent defensive end Anthony Hargrove.

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32 Responses to “NFLPA says it will file motion to recuse Paul Tagliabue”
  1. daysend564 says: Oct 24, 2012 1:31 PM

    Fans file motion to recuse Smith from the NFLPA.

  2. jpmelon says: Oct 24, 2012 1:35 PM

    They won’t be happy until the arbitrator is a life-long Saints fan (just like Judge Berrigan). This case is a circus. My hatred of Vilma and the NFLPA continues.

  3. achilles920 says: Oct 24, 2012 1:39 PM

    I cannot believe this has not all been sorted out yet. What’s it been? 9 months? Most of the individuals suspended aren’t even playing (minus Vilma) so what’s the deal Goodell? I was originally on the Commish’s side in this, but as usual, CEOs (or Commish’s) can’t handle the work when it’s exclusively up to them.

  4. goodolebaghead says: Oct 24, 2012 1:40 PM

    jpmelon says:
    Oct 24, 2012 1:35 PM
    They won’t be happy until the arbitrator is a life-long Saints fan (just like Judge Berrigan). This case is a circus. My hatred of Vilma and the NFLPA continues.
    ***************************************
    Berrigan is a federal judge, not a Saint fan. They will be happy when someone NOT in Goodell’s pocket is deciding on punishments.

    Tired of this? All Goodell has to do is release actually evidence and not out of context allusions to what he thinks happened.

  5. r0b1b0y says: Oct 24, 2012 1:52 PM

    Goodell continues to tarnish the shield

  6. conners1979 says: Oct 24, 2012 1:52 PM

    Misread the headline and thought he’d fallen down a well or something

  7. marthisdil says: Oct 24, 2012 1:53 PM

    I hope the NFL files with the court that the lawyers of the NFLPA have a conflict of interest – how can they defend people who supposedly were targeting to injure players that they also represent.

    Force the players to hire their own lawyers out of their own pockets.

    Let the fun begin.

  8. marthisdil says: Oct 24, 2012 1:54 PM

    achilles920 says: Oct 24, 2012 1:39 PM

    I cannot believe this has not all been sorted out yet. What’s it been? 9 months? Most of the individuals suspended aren’t even playing (minus Vilma) so what’s the deal Goodell? I was originally on the Commish’s side in this, but as usual, CEOs (or Commish’s) can’t handle the work when it’s exclusively up to them.

    =============================

    Because the players are being dumbasses and not taking their punishment. Sure, they have a union representing them, etc, etc….and a CBA. But they can’t figure out why the coaches, who don’t have CBA, and would have had an easier time bringing the issue to the courts, DIDN’T.

  9. green41563 says: Oct 24, 2012 2:02 PM

    Letting Tagliabue review Goodell’s decision is like letting Dick Cheney review the Bush administration.

    Just stop, league. It’s embarrassing.

    Just. Stop. Really.

  10. beavertonsteve says: Oct 24, 2012 2:06 PM

    Hey Goodell, just pull the Tagliabue offer off the table. Redesignate yourself as the arbitrator, hand the NFLPA a copy of the CBA they signed and remind them it’s open to renegotiation in 10 years.

  11. ilovefoolsball says: Oct 24, 2012 2:13 PM

    Players should fight this till the very end.

    The best case scenario is that a witness inside the NFL office comes forward with the inside scoop saying how Goodell wanted this more of a personal matter rather than that of player safety because that is the truth.

  12. fuglyflorio says: Oct 24, 2012 2:19 PM

    The endless effort to avoid punishment for something everyone knows they did … continues.

  13. bullcharger says: Oct 24, 2012 2:22 PM

    Please tell me this story will come to an end one day. The players weren’t totally innocent but they were more innocent then the organization or the coaches. The punishments reflect that maybe with the exception of Vilma. Time to move on.

  14. beavertonsteve says: Oct 24, 2012 2:45 PM

    Letting Tagliabue review Goodell’s decision is like letting Dick Cheney review the Bush administration.
    ————————————
    Bad analogy – Clinton reviewing Obama or Bush Sr reviewing Bush Jr would be more accurate.

  15. rockthered1286 says: Oct 24, 2012 2:47 PM

    marthisdil says:
    Oct 24, 2012 1:53 PM
    I hope the NFL files with the court that the lawyers of the NFLPA have a conflict of interest – how can they defend people who supposedly were targeting to injure players that they also represent.
    _________________________________
    THIS 100% addresses the issue I have with the Saints and their fanbase. They continually want to bash Rog for bringing in Tagliabue and removing himself from the decision, but they have NO qualms with the fact the the NFLPA lawyers are representing players who allegedly injured other players they ALSO represent. It’s a conflict of interest and if you want it one way it’s gotta go both ways folks. These lawyers will take on this case going against player safety, turn around and whine on behalf of players for more player safety. It’s beyond bogus.

  16. samapoc says: Oct 24, 2012 2:48 PM

    I’m still confused as to why people want to punish everyone when there is no evidence and no due process? It makes me hope that you get fired from your job because your boss notices that you have an ink pen of the same brand that you used at work, so you might have stolen it. The only people who are ruining jobs are the ones who think the players and coaches should “just admit it” and “just take it”.

  17. jpack1974 says: Oct 24, 2012 2:55 PM

    Spoiled rich adults blowing money because they can.

  18. packhawk04 says: Oct 24, 2012 2:57 PM

    Samopac, bad analogy. The correct one would be to sign a document stating that if you use a pen of a different company, you can be fired. And when youre fired for using a pen of a different company, trying to fight it. Guy above had it right. What should happen is they should show them the CBA, and say “you know this thing you agreed to? Its open for renegotiation in ten years. Shutup and wait.”

  19. jpack1974 says: Oct 24, 2012 2:58 PM

    The CBA gives Goodell the power. The players signed it. It is done. Live by the contract you signed.

  20. miles58a says: Oct 24, 2012 2:58 PM

    The NFLPA sent a letter asking Paul Tagliabue if he was going to be fair and let the NFLPA see the evidence against the players and be allowed to question the NFL’s source’s. All Tagliabue had to do was give them an answer by today and he didn’t, that is why the NFLPA is doing this. Why does the NFL still refuse to not follow the CBA by providing evidence that they plan to use (Because its all False). The NFL could end this today if they wanted but they don’t. Just lay all the cards on the table and either show that they are guilty or be proven wrong end of story.

  21. miles58a says: Oct 24, 2012 3:03 PM

    rockthered1286 says:
    Oct 24, 2012 2:47 PM
    marthisdil says:
    Oct 24, 2012 1:53 PM
    I hope the NFL files with the court that the lawyers of the NFLPA have a conflict of interest – how can they defend people who supposedly were targeting to injure players that they also represent.
    _________________________________
    THIS 100% addresses the issue I have with the Saints and their fanbase. They continually want to bash Rog for bringing in Tagliabue and removing himself from the decision, but they have NO qualms with the fact the the NFLPA lawyers are representing players who allegedly injured other players they ALSO represent. It’s a conflict of interest and if you want it one way it’s gotta go both ways folks. These lawyers will take on this case going against player safety, turn around and whine on behalf of players for more player safety. It’s beyond bogus.

    _________________________________

    That’s easy because none of the players believe they are guilty. The only one that thinks they are guilty is Saints haters and Goodell. The NFLPA is made up of players Smith just represents them. Smith does nothing without the player’s approval and they all believe that the Saints players are innocent or atleast innocent until proven guilty

  22. thereisfootballwestofjersey says: Oct 24, 2012 3:07 PM

    Yo – NFLPA – How come there’s no drug testing policy in place yet?

  23. dryzzt23 says: Oct 24, 2012 3:08 PM

    I am so DONE with the players and their union. They obviously committed the crime but refuse to do the time. It is time to disband the union and put the players in their place.

    Go owners!

  24. daveman8403 says: Oct 24, 2012 3:16 PM

    THIS 100% addresses the issue I have with the Saints and their fanbase. They continually want to bash Rog for bringing in Tagliabue and removing himself from the decision, but they have NO qualms with the fact the the NFLPA lawyers are representing players who allegedly injured other players they ALSO represent. It’s a conflict of interest and if you want it one way it’s gotta go both ways folks. These lawyers will take on this case going against player safety, turn around and whine on behalf of players for more player safety. It’s beyond bogus.

    ————————————————–

    Really?! Maybe because every player says this is a croc, and no one is saying they were hurt from a “bounty”. Who did the saints hurt that they should be defending?

  25. klunge says: Oct 24, 2012 3:54 PM

    daveman8403 says:
    Oct 24, 2012 3:16 PM
    Really?! Maybe because every player says this is a croc, and no one is saying they were hurt from a “bounty”. Who did the saints hurt that they should be defending?
    ————————————————–

    Incorrect, numerous players have spoken out against it. They didn’t have to legitimately injure anyone, the simple fact that the system was in place to reward players for injuries makes it punishable. People involved have already confessed to it. I don’t know why you find this so hard to grasp. If you try to kill someone and fail, you are still an ATTEMPTED murderer and still criminally liable. Pretty easy principle to grasp. But it wouldn’t matter how much evidence is produced or how iron-clad it is, you would downplay it and claim it was fabricated. Blind homerism always trumps facts and logic.

  26. jagsfanugh says: Oct 24, 2012 3:59 PM

    They need an independent person to do this and one hopefully beyond reproach.

  27. jpmelon says: Oct 24, 2012 4:39 PM

    goodolebaghead says:
    Oct 24, 2012 1:40 PM

    Berrigan is a federal judge, not a Saint fan. They will be happy when someone NOT in Goodell’s pocket is deciding on punishments.
    ______________________________

    She attended LSU and worked in New Orleans from 1978 until 1994 and from 1994 until now she has remained a federal judge in Louisiana….so she’s been in New Orleans for over 30 years. I think it’s naiive to say that she has no affinity towards the Saints.

  28. samapoc says: Oct 24, 2012 4:41 PM

    Klunge — way to join Goodell in no evidence accusations. Players are against injury. 100% of players have said they didn’t approve of injuring others.

    No player has admitted to trying to injure.

    By yours and Goodell logic, you tried to injure me by disagreeing and posting potentially inflammatory information about my opinion on the Internet which could have caused me to be depressed so that I would jump off the Golden Gate Bridge. That’s how bad the case is for the NFL. No evidence, just weak accusations. This whole story makes md want to jump…

  29. bigredjbird says: Oct 24, 2012 5:01 PM

    Of course. They’ll keep fighting it until they get Santa Claus

  30. daveman8403 says: Oct 24, 2012 5:10 PM

    klunge

    I’m sorry, an affidavit from a coach trying to get back into the league, and a conflicting affidavit from Cerullo, who pledged revenge on the Saints, is not sufficient evidence, especially when Vilma has 10 affidavits from players and coaches stating the opposite.

    Please name the numerous players that have spoken out about Vilma’s or the Saints actions. If there are any, there are very few, and the majority of silence should say it all. What’s even more telling is how the alleged targets (favre, warner) have said they felt nothing “extra curricular” was going on, and have no problems with what happened.

    what you fail to understand is how injuries of other players were not encouraged, and in fact illegal plays were not rewarded (if you believe Williams’ affidavit then you have to believe that). The NFL’s own evidence says flagged plays were not rewarded. Plays for big hits were rewarded regardless of injury (i.e. incidental). If a Quaterback rewards a receiver for scoring a touchdown, but the DB is injured on the play, by no illegal means, is that a bounty?

  31. purplengold says: Oct 24, 2012 5:18 PM

    dryzzt23, disbanding the union would be a crime.

  32. ripster65 says: Oct 24, 2012 5:45 PM

    That’s funny. Vilma calls for Goodell to recuse himself and he does. Still not good enough….! What a joke this is.

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