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Tagliabue tells NFL to produce Cerullo, Williams for testimony

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When former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue convenes the appeal hearing in the bounty case, two key witnesses will be required to attend and testify.

According to the Associated Press, a document sent by Tagliabue to the parties directs the NFL to produce former Saints assistant Mike Cerullo and former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams for questioning.

Cerullo reportedly has indicated that he’ll attend (after all, he still wants to work in the NFL).  Williams reportedly has declined.  If, however, Williams wants to ever work in the NFL again, he’ll show up.

If he doesn’t, the NFL should be blocked from relying on Williams’ sworn statement, which curiously was signed in September after an internal appeal board threw out the first wave of bounty suspensions, forcing the NFL to start the process over, from scratch.

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25 Responses to “Tagliabue tells NFL to produce Cerullo, Williams for testimony”
  1. chattanola says: Nov 21, 2012 1:08 PM

    This requirement by Tagliabue is a good sign that the proceedings will be above board and fair. Confronting the accusers will make for an honest hearing.

  2. usmutts says: Nov 21, 2012 1:09 PM

    If Williams does appear and takes the oath, I would advise him to take the fifth amendment and refuse to answer questions. The perjury laws apply to false testimony under oath.

  3. sb44champs says: Nov 21, 2012 1:18 PM

    “If he doesn’t, the NFL should be blocked from relying on Williams’ sworn statement, which curiously was signed in September after an internal appeal board threw out the first wave of bounty suspensions, forcing the NFL to start the process over, from scratch.”
    ===========================
    This should have read:
    ” …NFL should be blocked from relying on Williams’ sworn statement, which SUSPICIOUSLY, DEVIOUSLY and DECEITFULLY was signed in September after an internal appeal board threw out the first wave of bounty suspensions… “

  4. bigjdve says: Nov 21, 2012 1:27 PM

    I think the players should drop their lawsuits agains Tags being the arbiter.

    I think Tags should do an all or nothing with the players. They come into the hearing, he will let them question question the 2 witnesses, BUT in return they have to accept the decision of the hearing and drop all of these time, money, and resource wasting lawsuits.

    Then after that is agreed to, make sure the NFL understands that it is all or nothing with them as well.

    That way we can end all of this for good. I think Tags will be fair as he cared(s) deeply for the league, owners, and players as was evidenced in his years of service.

  5. hor2012 says: Nov 21, 2012 1:28 PM

    I don’t know why my comments are not being posted. So, I’ll try again and ask that someone reads them before they’re not allowed to post.

    I think this comes at the worst possible time for the Saints. I’m a Saints fan and I think this is the last thing that we need. At this point if I were JV I would ask that I be fined insted of the suspension. It may not matter at this point rather they did or not because the damage as been done. Maybe it’s just time to move on.

    I must admitt though I’m a little troubled as to why GW is reluctant to testify. If he’s worried about coaching in the NFL that my be a mute point. In the eyes of many NFL players if he did sign anything saying that JV provided money for a bounty, rather it’s right or wrong GW would be considered a rat. And, if said it and it wasn’t true then he a liar. Either way he needs to man up and stand by what he said or retract it.

    I think I speak for everyone when I say it’s time for this to be over.

  6. rmdz7 says: Nov 21, 2012 1:30 PM

    If he doesn’t, the NFL should be blocked from relying on Williams’ sworn statement, which curiously was signed in September after an internal appeal board threw out the first wave of bounty suspensions, forcing the NFL to start the process over, from scratch.

    Oh, no. Williams’ sworn statement needs to be included as it contradicts Cerullo’s sworn statement. Cerullo better bring his napkin and his “ledger” with him too.

    Tagliabue is doing a good show so far, but I am afraid that’s all it is, a show, and the decision is already made. I can’t see Tagliabue making a decision other than sticking to the NFL’s party line, as any other decision will certainly negatively affect the civil court case against the NFL and Goodell.

  7. brenenostler says: Nov 21, 2012 1:33 PM

    But if the NFL forces Williams to testify, isn’t that bullying him? According to Vilma anyway….

  8. chattanola says: Nov 21, 2012 1:49 PM

    It has been suggested in the comment thread that players drop all lawsuits in exchange for a fair hearing. I disagree, at least in Vilma’s defamation case.

    It can be easily argued that Goodell DID defame Vilma by carelessly launching this issue from a public platform.

    If nothing else, the defamation of character lawsuit against Commisioner Goodell gives Vilma leverage exactly because he has a case.

  9. shoobiedoobin says: Nov 21, 2012 2:11 PM

    Has anyone ever seen that Pacino movie And Justice For All? This whole bounty scandal reminds me of it. Realistically if your brain is in working order, you know damn well there was a bounty program and guys participated. But technically, the way things played out, Vilma was given a legal rat hole to run through and hide until he can get off innocent. It’s sad but now we know what kind of person he is. He’ll take money to ruin the livelihood of another human being and when given a chance to be honest, or lie with a chance of getting off, we know what path he chose. We know his motive for lying, but why would Williams or anyone else who admitted to it?

  10. qdog112 says: Nov 21, 2012 2:41 PM

    shoobiedoobin, “you’re out of order!!!” If there was a bounty, put forth the evidence. Kangaroo/lynching courts used to exist and we’re better off now that they don’t.

    If you accuse someone of something that you can’t prove – then you should be raked through the coals. No longer is “because I said so” good enough. Prove it or shut up.

    Let’s see what’s real and what was manufactured to fit Goodell’s case. I hope he has to testify as well.

  11. breadmeatcheese says: Nov 21, 2012 2:41 PM

    My favorite Pacino movie is Scent of a Woman. And before anyone tears it down please try to appreciate the acting Pacino does in this one. Could be the most underrated Oscar winning performance of all time.

    Let’s not forget the Saints were warned repeatedly to stop the Bounty program. That said Goodell has taken it a little far.

    I think there will be a compromise as there always is when two powerful entities each possess valid points, and legally butt heads.

  12. daveman8403 says: Nov 21, 2012 2:55 PM

    shoobiedoobin

    You must have not been following this scandal very closely. “you know there was a bounty program and guys participated”? How do you know? I have not seen any credible evidence that says it was anything more than a PFP program. Furthermore, you gone on to say “He’ll take money to ruin the livelihood of another”. He was not even accused of receiving money to injure someone. Vilma had 1 penalty in the 3 years in question, no one has ever accused Vilma of being a dirty player in the NFL before, and is widely respected around the league. you sir, are the worst kind of person.

    As for what is Williams and Cerullos’s motive for lying? Well, let’s see, Cerullo’s pledged vengeance on the saints when they fired him for LYING, and Williams will sign anything to get back into the league. (evidenced by him refusing to testify). No one else has admitted to a pay-for-injury program. Pay-for-performance was admitted to, which the punishment does not fit the crime, and can’t actually be penalized with anything more than a fine.

  13. PriorKnowledge says: Nov 21, 2012 3:12 PM

    Everyone knows there was a bounty program. Bounty programs are only wrong because they were pay-for-performance outside of their contract, which is a penalty for the club, not the players. In order to punish the players, the NFL has to go after them as pay-for-injury, which is harder to prove.

  14. daveman8403 says: Nov 21, 2012 3:15 PM

    breadmeatcheese

    If suspensions were for being told to stop and continuing, then why was Fujita suspended at all? He was no longer with the Saints after the 2009 season (when the supposed warning took place). There is also no indication that players were ever warned.

  15. twisteditoff says: Nov 21, 2012 3:23 PM

    wahwah just remmeber jv is from loserania jvil just shut that hole in ur face and admit that your team cheated and no matter what alot of peeps know what you did… ur a disgrace and will always be know as the one that promted the saints to be forever named loserania aints i will never ever cheer for that sorry excuse of what you think is a team, ever!!!

  16. cwwgk says: Nov 21, 2012 3:26 PM

    I’m glad Tagliabue is requiring Williams and Cerullo to testify. It removes all bases for the suspended players and their supporters to claim any unfairness to the process. Not that there ever was, but now it will be extinguished. They are now being afforded a disciplinary hearing to which the vast majority, if not virtually all, of employees in the private sector of US the US workforce do not enjoy.

    Just like Judge Berrigan, it is all but certain Tagliabue will make the determination that Vilma and the others have admitted to what Goodell and the league accused them of.

    The suspensions and fines will then be reduced by Tagliabue. Then Judge Berrigan will dismiss the lawsuits, including Vilma’s defamation case, for failing to the players’s failures to state claims against which relief can be granted.

    Then all this grandstanding about “rights” which don’t exist can stop. The allegations of Goodell and the league were correct. The penalties, perhaps too harsh initially, will be reduced.

  17. themagicfanguy says: Nov 21, 2012 3:32 PM

    Stop lying to yourself Saints fans. They’re guilty. You know it, we know it. You can talk the conspiracy BS all you want, doesn’t change anything.

  18. shoobiedoobin says: Nov 21, 2012 3:33 PM

    Sigh…a few people above me clearly missed the point. Keep sticking to technicalities. Like I said, anyone with a working brain can put two and two together. And Williams & Cerullo’s signatures are plenty. Funny though that when cowardly technicalities fail, crackpot speculation becomes fact. Sure Mulder, sure.

  19. sb44champs says: Nov 21, 2012 3:47 PM

    twisteditoff says:
    Nov 21, 2012 3:23 PM
    wahwah just remmeber jv is from loserania jvil just shut that hole in ur face and admit that your team cheated and no matter what alot of peeps know what you did… ur a disgrace and will always be know as the one that promted the saints to be forever named loserania aints i will never ever cheer for that sorry excuse of what you think is a team, ever!!!
    =======================
    And believe me, the Who Dat Nation doesn’t want you on board anyway, lol!!! U Mad?

  20. ilovefoolsball says: Nov 21, 2012 3:53 PM

    twisteditoff says:
    Nov 21, 2012 3:23 PM
    wahwah just remmeber jv is from loserania jvil just shut that hole in ur face and admit that your team cheated and no matter what alot of peeps know what you did… ur a disgrace and will always be know as the one that promted the saints to be forever named loserania aints i will never ever cheer for that sorry excuse of what you think is a team, ever!!!
    _______
    how did you learn how to use a keyboard?

    Does anyone really believe that Tags is going to rule against the NFL?

  21. daveman8403 says: Nov 21, 2012 3:54 PM

    Technicalities?!! you mean like Cerullo’s and Williams’ testimonies directly contradicting each other? Or Cerullo pledging vengeance on the Saints organization after being fired for LYING? Or Williams’ being mum to anyone, going out of the country when Vilma’s lawyer requested his presence, and then signing a declaration 3 days before the hearing? Or having 10 affidavit’s denying what Goodell accused them of as opposed to Goodell’s two contradictory ones? yea, technicalities. Give me a break.

  22. ghlatty says: Nov 21, 2012 4:20 PM

    Seriously, does anyone thank that after the tape of Williams’ “human anatomy” lecture to the defense was released that he will ever be on an NFL team again??

  23. daveman8403 says: Nov 21, 2012 5:31 PM

    ghlatty

    well, it’s pretty obvious he will be coaching again next year for the Rams. His son has taken over duties as defensive coordinator, and William’s has been allowed to go to multiple Ram’s games. hhmmmm. Sean Payton is not even allowed to attend a high school game. A HIGH SCHOOL GAME! The only reason payton was allow to attend ONE Saints game is because Drew Brees was breaking a big record, and the Saints found out about William’s attending the week before. William’s only reason for attending games is, “a friend invited him”. I wonder if a friend invited Payton, if he would be allowed to go.

  24. koenig61 says: Nov 21, 2012 8:02 PM

    When whether or not you get to work in the NFL depends on your testimony, how can that testimony ever be taken seriously? It’s like Goodell burning the patriot tapes and saying, really there was nothing on them that anyone else needed to see. Trust me. Yeah right

  25. silentcount says: Nov 22, 2012 8:42 PM

    What are the Saints guilty of? Talking tough in the locker room before a game? That occurs for all teams from the NFL, college and high school. What matters is what happens on the field. The Saints had less personal foul penalties and fines than the average team. Bottom line — no way Sean Payton, Joe Vitt and Mickey Loomis deserved to be suspended. It was nothing more than a delusion by Goodell to fabricate a safety villan.

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