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Jonathan Vilma, NFL submit filings in advance of Friday hearing

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; The NFL and Jonathan Vilma each submitted filings to federal court Tuesday, further setting the stage for a Friday-morning hearing in front of U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan, who will decide either to dismiss a request by Vilma and the ...

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Old 08-08-2012, 05:34 AM   #1
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The NFL and Jonathan Vilma each submitted filings to federal court Tuesday, further setting the stage for a Friday-morning hearing in front of U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan, who will decide either to dismiss a request by Vilma and the NFL Players Association for an injunction against the league's suspensions of four current and former Saints players or let the case continue to the discovery stage.


Vilma's legal team filed in opposition to the NFL's motion to dismiss or for summary judgment, putting forth a complete set of the arguments that they have made throughout legal proceedings between the three parties. The memorandum said the NFL deliberately mishandled the players' arbitration process and that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell exceeded his authority in his handling of a June 18 appeals hearing for the players' penalties.
"Quite simply, Vilma's punishment, and the process used to impose that punishment, conflicts with the very essence of the NFL-NFLPA (collective bargaining agreement), and encompasses precisely the type of abuse that federal law does not permit," his lawyers said.
In the memo, Vilma asks for a permanent injunction to set aside Goodell's suspension and that the decision be remanded to a neutral arbitrator.
Vilma also submitted an amended post-hearing memorandum for approval which took several swipes at members of the media that his lawyers purported to have served as mouthpieces for the NFL in a public relations campaign against the players.
It referred to ESPN as "Goodell's funnel to the public airways" and called Sports Illustrated senior NFL writer Peter King, who wrote a feature called "Bounty Culture: The Saints' Pay-to-Injure Program Rattles the NFL," someone "commonly known as a go-to source for NFL leaks."
The memo also said that on March 14, Vilma's counsel offered to meet with Goodell if he was considering disciplining Vilma, but that the commissioner did not respond.
In another filing in support of its motion, the NFL's counsel responded to Vilma and the NFLPA's argument that Goodell could not be an impartial arbitrator because he had made public comments which showed he already had come to a decision about the players' guilt.
"But any such 'pre-judgment' is inherent in the process to which the parties agreed in the CBA," the NFL's lawyers said in the filing. "Under that process, the Commissioner reaches an initial judgment before the appeal hearing, which in turn is intended to afford the player an opportunity to change the Commissioner's mind. The players chose not to avail themselves of that opportunity."
The NFL also had strong words in response to interim coach Joe Vitt's definition of what constitutes a "cart-off" hit. At the July 26 hearing, Vitt testified that a "cart-off" occurred after a clean hit on the running back.
"The trainers are giving him smelling salts, ... we would call that a cart-off," Vitt said. "He is out of the game. He is not playing."
"Perhaps the union genuinely believes that it 'shocks the conscience' for the Commissioner to discipline players for incentivizing their teammates to knock opposing players out of a game," the NFL's lawyers said. "But the Commissioner came to a different conclusion, determining that 'whether a hit was ultimately subject to a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct or unnecessary roughness is irrelevant (because) incentivizing players for hits that injure or increase the risk of injury to opposing players undermines the integrity of, and public confidence in, the game of football."


Jonathan Vilma, NFL submit filings in advance of Friday hearing - New Orleans Saints Football NFL News - NOLA.com

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Old 08-08-2012, 07:06 AM   #2
 
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:31 AM   #3
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Looks like they are taking EVERYONE to task! NFL, ESPN.....
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Old 08-08-2012, 02:05 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by x626xBlack View Post
Looks like they are taking EVERYONE to task! NFL, ESPN.....
Someone's going to pay!!!
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Old 08-08-2012, 08:59 PM   #5
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Can't wait to see what happens next!
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Old 08-09-2012, 06:58 AM   #6
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Heard this morning on NFL Sirius that Adam Schefter (sp) is reporting that there will be no settlement before Fridays hearing.
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Old 08-09-2012, 10:33 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by SmashMouth View Post
I love that. We sit and wait.
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Old 08-09-2012, 10:41 AM   #8
 
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Originally Posted by x626xBlack View Post
Looks like they are taking EVERYONE to task! NFL, ESPN.....
And Peter King .... I just wonder if he crapped in his pants when he got the news.
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:29 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by SmashMouth View Post
And Peter King .... I just wonder if he crapped in his pants when he got the news.
He probably just laughed and is enjoying the publicity.

To me, that's the most aggravating part of this whole story is the arrogance of the established participants in this drama.

Goodell feels he can decide that this is conduct that is detrimental to the NFL and therefore gets to be the judge, jury, appellate judge, and executioner and not have to explain his position.

He does not have to explain why he didn't chose to use an independent body to hear appeals.

He feels he can just announce that he has more evidence than he is showing and no one, the public at large or even the accused players themselves, are allowed to see it, let alone question it's veracity even after several pieces of evidence have been show to be wrong.

He feels he can change what the players are being punished for but his punishment does not even need to be reviewed. Vilma was being punished for putting $10,000 on the table and calling for someone to injure Brett Favre and Kurt Warner, but now that it has been shown there is absolutely no proof that that ever happened, he is being punished for.... Hargrove was being punished for collecting a bounty and the evidence was the video tape with his voice saying "Give me my money" now that that has been proven not to be Hargrove he is being punished because...

His lawyers in the defamation suit are not even trying to argue the merits of the "bounty" case, they're arguing whether Vilma and the others even deserve the right to a fair process because of a very poorly constructed CBA.

And the media feels it is acceptable to write stories saying the Saints were participating in a bounty program despite the players protests, based solely on what Roger Goodell and the NFL are saying, without ever checking the story for themselves. They do not feel they owe the organization, coaches or players any effort on their part to verify or corroborate the horrible allegations that the league is making before dragging their names threw the mud.

It seems there is an elite group of individuals that will decide what will happen and how it will be presented to the public. And they do not feel they need to explain anything.

It's pure arrogance, plain and simple.

(stepping off soapbox now)
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Old 08-09-2012, 12:07 PM   #10
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