League denies leaking bounty transcripts

On Thursday, Saints interim head coach Joe Vitt suggested that the league office fired a “scud” in his direction by leaking to the Associated Press the transcript of the bounty testimony of former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.

The NFL denies leaking the transcript, citing an email sent by former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue’s attorney, directing the parties to keep the transcripts under wraps.  The league has sent the email to PFT.

“Dear Counsel,” the message states, “Mr. Tagliabue has reviewed the question regarding the release of the transcripts of the appeals hearings he conducted.  He considers the transcripts to be confidential and not for public release.

“It should be noted that the transcripts contain certain information not relevant to the matters before him related to third parties who have no involvement at all in the issues here.  The release of such information could be unnecessarily harmful to these third parties.”

Several of the transcripts nevertheless have been released.  (It’s our understanding that there’s not one full transcript, but a separate transcript for each witness who testified.)  Both NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith and attorney Peter Ginsberg, who represents Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, have argued that the transcripts should be released.

At this point, it’s not clear who leaked the transcripts.  For now, all we know is that the league has denied that they supplied the documents to the AP, or to anyone else.

14 responses to “League denies leaking bounty transcripts

  1. Considering that the transcripts that have been leaked only back the part of Tagliabue’s statement that agreed with Goodell’s initial ruling, it’s pretty safe to say that the league is in fact leaking it. Just like they leaked parts of the case as it progressed over the past nine months.

  2. How does an email from a lawyer telling the league not to leak the transcripts serve as evidence that the league didn’t leak the transcripts?

    That would be like a lawyer going into court and saying that his client couldn’t possibly have done what he was accused of because it was illegal.

  3. Given the behavior of The Great Roger Goodell Himself Live And In Person throughout this whole vendetta, any denial by Himself constitutes confirmation.

  4. Judging from past instances of leaked testimony in both civil and criminal cases, you can bet the ranch it was one of the lawyers.

    William’s lawyer, Vilma’s lawyer, Goodell’s lawyer or any one of the dozens who generated some billable hours are all possible suspects. Good luck figuring out which one-and thats assuming there is ONLY one leaker.

  5. The NFL must truly think that their core fans are a bunch of high school drop outs. I am a football fan first and a Saints fan second. This entire shenanigan they are trying to pull again is despicable and repulsive. Someone or something needs to be done about this. This entire season has turned into a circus with a clown rather than a ringmaster running the show. Every person that works at the NFL headquarters should be embarrassed to be associated with the NFL the way things have turned out this season!

  6. Personally, I am happy the documents were leaked and would thank the person responsible for doing so. It shines another light on how dysfunctional the Saints organization operated after their Superbowl victory*.

  7. LOL! Well the appeal was split up and heard in the NFL’s offices in New York and the NFL’s attorney’s office in New Orleans.
    Who was responsible for transcribing it and securing it? The NFL.

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