Report: NFLPA will file Tagliabue recusal motion on Wednesday


The NFLPA hasn’t, and wont, ask former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue to step aside from his position as arbitrator in the bounty appeal process.  Instead, the NFLPA will ask Judge Helen Berrigan to remove Taglibue from the process.

According to Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal, the NFLPA will file a motion to recuse Tagliabue on Wednesday, the court-mandated deadline for doing so.

The fight will focus primarily on whether Tagliabue is disqualified from serving as the arbitrator given that he works for the law firm that represents the NFL in the bounty cases, and other matters.  The NFL will argue that the arbitrator in a case of this nature, while impartial, is not “neutral,” which allows the NFL to designate as the hearing officer a lawyer who directly or through a law-firm affiliation represents the NFL.  Indeed, NFL general counsel Jeff Pash has on many past occasions served as the “arbitrator” in appeals under NFL policies, even though Pash is a one-client consigliere, representing only the NFL.

The NFLPA likely will claim that the problem arises from the fact that Tagliague is employed by a law firm that has advocated specific positions on behalf of the NFL.  And the NFLPA likely will point to a federal lawsuit from the 1970s in which the ABA Commissioner was disqualified from presiding over a matter involving Julius Erving because the firm at which the Commissioner was a partner was representing one of the parties to the arbitration.

The NFLPA also will argue that Tagliabue will be a witness in the bounty cases, given that he served as Commissioner when the league condoned player-funded “pay-for-performance” plans in the 1990s.  It could be more tactic than legitimate strategy for proving the case, but it could do the trick.

29 responses to “Report: NFLPA will file Tagliabue recusal motion on Wednesday

  1. I don’t even see how Tagliabue can be seen as impartial. He has obvious longstanding ties to Goodell and the league itself.

    Ask yourself this- how bad will Goodell look if Tagliabue rules in favor of the players?

    VERY bad. It would make Goodell look both biased and incompetent.

  2. I’ve posted this on a couple of other articles related to this & want to repost because I’m interested in peoples opinion:

    “Oh my God!!!!! Until this article…I wasn’t getting sick about hearing of the Saints “bounty case!” I personally thought he’d be a good arbitrator. That being said…my fellow Saints fans/haters/football-fans-in-general…who do you think would be a fair & impartial arbitrator?!? This should have some interesting responses…

  3. How about the NFL recuse the saints* from the NFL? What a freakin’ disgrace they have been to the league.

  4. Of course Tagliabue should be recused.

    There are more living former U.S. Presidents than living former NFL Commissioners!

  5. Every article makes me love the Saints and Vilma more and more. Funny, how people that hate these articles always comment about how much they hate these articles. Lol. Thou does protest a we bit too much, don’t ya think?

  6. Why does Vilma say he good with Tags, but the union is not? I figured it would be the other way around.

  7. conormacleod says:
    Oct 23, 2012 9:39 PM
    Every article only makes me hate the Saints and Vilma even more.
    Your opinion is very important!
    I’m sure you had a warm and fuzzy feeling for them before all of this.
    Give me a break.

  8. saudogg says:
    Oct 23, 2012 9:38 PM
    This crap will never end.

    This crap should have never started.
    The Omissioner thinks the “F”in NFL stands for fantasy, because this is sure as hell something he dreamed up… Pay to injure has never been proven because it never freakin happened.

    Had Lord Roger just fined and suspended coaches and players for a sensible amount of time for failing to discontinue a pay for performance deal, then everyone would’ve taken their medicine and it would have gone away…..

    But Big Bad Roger Goodell had to puff out his chest and walk around like Vince McMahon on a pay per view, acting like the Saints had crucified Jesus.

    I hope he has embarrassed the league enough for the owners to fire his ass

  9. I’m getting so sick of the NFLPA and Vilma. He did the crime. When this is all said and done, ban him from the NFL forever.

  10. Just be done with it and dig up Pete Rozelle’s corpse and let him take care of business. This whole thing has become a joke…a bad one at that

  11. If you live in or around Baltimore, and have any sense of history, you know not to trust Tagliabue.

    Seriously, Goodell is bad but Paul Tagliabue is an even greater evil without the same level of media exposure.

    He’s the evil that you don’t know.

  12. The NFLPA is exactly right. The issue is objectivity.

    Obviously, the teabaggers who worship billionaires will disagree with the fact that workers should have a fair hearing, but that pretty much shows how stupid they are, because they pretty much are nothing but workers, too…

  13. Every article makes me hate the NFL more and more. This witch hunt double-standard bs needs to end. And the suspensions need to be lifted. It’s wasted enough of everyone’s time and money. There’s no evidence that anything happened. It’s time to let it go.

  14. I used to love the saints/ Brees/ organization…now I have lost all respect. Where there is smoke, there is fire. These players make me sick now.

  15. butthatmakestoomuchsense says: Oct 23, 2012 9:54 PM

    Ask yourself this- how bad will Goodell look if Tagliabue rules in favor of the players?

    VERY bad. It would make Goodell look both biased and incompetent.
    Goodell has managed to do that quite fine on his own as he has bungled everything up from handling of Spygate to the over-reaction to Bountygate and making the NFL the official league of flag football.

    The passing statistics are similar to the home run statistics of the steroid era in baseball.

  16. What’s the over/under on Goodell wishing he never brought this whole mess up?

    He could have simply flown Benson up to NY, smacked him down, and demanded he get his team to cut it out.

  17. I think goodell is trying to save vilma prison time bc i can not put a bounty on my competition to take them out from reaching my goals. What makes it ok for vilma to do it but i can not… huh so in order to be a successful criminal i need to be in the NFL… vilma sucks at his job and in life just like any person who supports vilma!

  18. Since the Union seems to be intent on going outside the agreement it signed, if the judge rules in their favor, I think it will be down right funny if Goodell puts himself back on the bench.

    I mean, he can tell them – hey look, I gave you an arbiter and you filed a legal suit on him. So why would I give another arbiter where you would probably do the same.

    What does the union think is going to happen? They keep trying for someone in their pocket, why would Goodell be any different?

  19. The Union’s strategy seems to be paying off, (good, bad or indifferent), while taking an adversarial position on EVERYTHING proposed by the league, the subject players get paid and receive credit towards retirement under the CBA.
    While I side with the league in this case, the NFLPA’s tactics, in what will be a losing battle in the end,are quite effective.

  20. The only way the Saints get a fair appeal is if the judge is D. Smith. And thats how it should be. Vilma = innocent. Goodell = the Fuher.

  21. Goodell should take the offer back, then double the fines and suspension. They want to act like spoiled children treat them like spoiled children. If the players did not like the arbitration setup they should have addressed this during the negotiaion, tough ish if you dont like the process now. You made your bed, now sleep in it for the next 10 years.

  22. How can someone who works for the law firm representing the NFL in the bounty case be impartial in the first place. Goodell is an idiot if he thought for one minute anyone wouldn’t see right through this. Oh wait, you saints haters believe everything he says and does. Just keep on with your whiney, hateful comments. The saints will prevail in the end and the more you hate the more we pull together. keep it up. who dat baby!!!!!! make Goodell show his evidence, then this will be over….

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