October 30 bounty appeal hearing is adjourned


With a hurricane targeting the East Coast and the suspended players targeting former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue for recusal, a hearing that had been set for October 30 on the appeals of the suspensions has been postponed.

A source with knowledge of the situation tells PFT that Tagliabue has “adjourned” the hearing.  A new date for the appeal before Tagliabue has not been determined.  It’s believed that Tagliabue will provide more information on Monday.

Regardless of whether Tagliabue planned to proceed on Tuesday even with the briefing process on the recusal effort before Judge Helen Berrigan in Louisiana concluding Monday at noon ET, the travel delays and other practical consequences of Hurricane Sandy surely had a role in the decision.

Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma and Saints defensive end Will Smith will be playing on Sunday night in Denver.  With the storm starting Sunday and intensifying significantly on Monday, it’s unlikely that they would have been able to get to hearing.

And so the issues will continue to linger, and Vilma and Smith will be available to keep playing.  The Saints host the Eagles in Week Nine and the Falcons in Week 10.

The delay doesn’t impact Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, who has been placed on injured reserve.  It arguably hurts free-agent defensive end Anthony Hargrove, who currently faces a two-game suspension after he signs with a new team.  As a practical matter, he won’t be signed by anyone until his status is resolved via the internal appeal process and the court system.

12 responses to “October 30 bounty appeal hearing is adjourned

  1. this drama won’t end anytime soon…I do expect the players to continue playing for rest of season while lawyers continue fighting on chosen neutral arbitrator which the NFL will hope to block and keep Taglibeau as arbitrator…red vs. blue fight will continue as usual..yawn

  2. I just can’t wait to see what happens when this all gets wrapped up and Hargrove decides to try to get some of his “lost wages” returned to him via suit.

  3. In my view, the suspended players are only delaying the inevitable here. Even assuming, for argument’s sake, their punishment is further reduced by Tagliabue or another appeals hearing officer, I think the odds are that after all the appeals (including those in federal court) are exhausted, at least three of the four accused players—Fujita stands the best chance at walking away without any suspension—will still be looking at SOME suspension time. Whether any suspensions are served now or in the future is largely irrelevant. What’s relevant is that the silent majority of sensible, objective NFL fans may conclude that the league had a reasonable basis for imposing punishment in this matter.

  4. By now, the larger point being reinforced is that Goodell has the authority and discretion under the CBA that he has exercised in this case. A fact that will be no longer in question once the players’ farcical claims in federal court are denied.

    Moreover, through the suspensions of Payton, Vitt, Williams and Hargrove the league has shown it will not treat those who lie and attempt to cover up wrongdoing lightly.

    The league, just like every other employer, needs a streamlined discipline process. The grandstanding of the suspended players has been an interesting sideshow. However, its unintended consequence will be a judicial stamp of approval for the authority vested in the commissioner.

  5. I’m not sure why a team who needed Hargrove wouldn’t sign him right now and let him play until his suspension begins. I mean he could be learning the system right now, and be ready to go as soon as he serves his 2 games. But that’s assuming he’s still a marketable commodity in the NFL. I’m not sure that he is. But I’m sure there are 4-3 teams out there that could use a swingman like him that can play DE on run downs and 3 tech at DT on pass downs. Or just play him at DT all the time.

  6. And just remember, when this little diversion is over, there is the alleged collusion case to follow. These have been some rather interesting 2 years for the NFL! Lockout, collusion charges, ref lockout, bounty charges and defenses. Is there anything on record of any NFL commish ever being involved 4 major PR issues (to say the least) in 2 years like this? At some point the owners will cease to be comfortable with the negativity the league is receiving, especially while they are pressed to expand globally (something I DO NOT support).

  7. rhodeislandpatriotsfan said:
    What’s relevant is that the silent majority of sensible, objective NFL fans may conclude that the league had a reasonable basis for imposing punishment in this matter.

    No. If you were truly sensible and objective, you’d see through Goodell’s sham for what it is… a sham.

    Just one nugget: look at the case of Scott Fujita. In March, in his letter of suspension, Goodell stated Fujita was suspended for 3 games because Goodell had evidence he participated in a pay-to-injure program.
    6 months later, Goodell, in his second letter of suspension to Fujita, Goodell states he didn’t have evidence Fujita had participated in any program, but was “dissapointed he didn’t do anything to stop Willams” and that’s why he suspended it for 1 game the second time around.

    Ok, sensible and objective guy, tell me, what happened to the evidence Goodell had on Fujita back in March?

    Another nugget: around May, the NFL leaked a “transcribed” page of an alleged ledger (no one has seen the ledger) to Yahoo sports, supposedly showing 4 bounties paid during the Saints-Buffalo game, which coincided with 4 Bills getting hurt. When it was revealed that 3 of the 4 Bills injured played defense, and the one offensive player pulled a hammie, the league re-leaked the exact same page, now alleging it was from a Siants-Carolina game. Again, sensible and objective guy, tell me, what do you think about that?

    A third nugget: Cerullo and Williams, who are the star witnesses for the NFL, have conflicting affidavits of of the events.

    I can keep going on an on, but hopefully you are sensible and objective enough ta at least acknowledge there is something not right with what Goodell is saying and doing.

    The only thing the Who Dat Nation wants, is see Goodell, Pash, Hummel, Cerullo, Williams, Childress, and the 50,000 pages of “evidence” in court.

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