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PFT: Vilma says NFL wonít produce Williams or Cerullo at appeal hearing

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; As the legal briefs continue to fly in to federal court in Louisiana, careful inspection of the documents reveals all sorts of interesting things. Hereís the latest, and itís a doozy. Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma contends in an October 18 ...

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Old 10-19-2012, 09:56 AM   #1
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PFT: Vilma says NFL wonít produce Williams or Cerullo at appeal hearing

As the legal briefs continue to fly in to federal court in Louisiana, careful inspection of the documents reveals all sorts of interesting things.

Hereís the latest, and itís a doozy.

Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma contends in an October 18 filing that the NFL has refused to produce former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams or former Saints assistant Mike Cerullo for testimony at the October 23 appeal hearing before Commissioner Roger Goodell.

The league likewise refused to produce either witness during the first appeal hearing in June. That time, however, the NFL wasnít hinging so much of its case against Vilma on sworn statements from Williams and Cerullo. (Indeed, in June, the NFL staunchly was refusing to even disclose Cerullo as a witness.)

This time, thereís no way Vilma can get a fair hearing without a chance to question the two men on whose word the NFL is heavily relying in suspending Vilma. Their sworn statements give rise to plenty of questions that need to be asked, including topics such as whether and to what extent Williamsí ability to return to the NFL (or to attend games while supposedly ďbannedĒ from pro football) hinged on signing the sworn statement, whether Williams or someone else wrote the statement, whether Williams if he didnít write the statement fully agrees with every word of it, whether the money that Vilma allegedly offered belonged to Vilma or someone else (rumors persist in league circles that it may have been Williams money).

As to Cerullo, there are real questions about his alleged desire to take revenge against the Saints for firing him after the 2009 season. Thereís no way to assess his potential bias without asking him questions about the circumstances surrounding his termination ó and whether he said things at the time like, for example, ďIíll get Joe Vitt for this,Ē or words to that effect.

As to both men, their respective statements contain a rather significant discrepancy. Cerullo says the money offered by Vilma was given to Williams. Williams says he never received it. How can the league accept the word of both men as the Gospel truth when thereís such a strong discrepancy on such a key point?

For Vilma to not receive a chance to question Williams and Cerullo makes a mockery of the process. The NFL surely will seek refuge in the ďitís not a court proceedingĒ mantra. But the league canít have it both ways. Using sworn statements makes it enough like a court proceeding to compel the witnesses to answer questions under oath. Itís simply unfair to base suspensions on written testimony without giving the person whose livelihood and reputation is affected adversely by the outcome to ask questions of the persons who signed their names to the documents.

Thus, Judge Helen Berrigan should give the NFL a choice: Make the witnesses available, or rescind the suspension of Vilma.

In a case that has been at times maddeningly complicated, this is by far the simplest aspect of it. Without a chance to confront and question Williams and Cerullo, Vilma canít fairly be punished.




Vilma says NFL wonít produce Williams or Cerullo at appeal hearing | ProFootballTalk
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Old 10-19-2012, 10:01 AM   #2
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Re: PFT: Vilma says NFL wonít produce Williams or Cerullo at appeal hearing

And the **** continues to hit the fan.

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Old 10-19-2012, 10:06 AM   #3
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Re: PFT: Vilma says NFL wonít produce Williams or Cerullo at appeal hearing

Goodhell's credibility continues to go down the toilet
Good times!
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Old 10-19-2012, 10:31 AM   #4
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Re: PFT: Vilma says NFL wonít produce Williams or Cerullo at appeal hearing

At this point is this enough for Goodell to either be fired or forced to step down?
Either way... you think we'll see a new commisioner?
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Old 10-19-2012, 10:33 AM   #5
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Re: PFT: Vilma says NFL wonít produce Williams or Cerullo at appeal hearing

This is when you need tony soprano. He doesnt play this $h!t
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Old 10-19-2012, 10:40 AM   #6
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Re: PFT: Vilma says NFL wonít produce Williams or Cerullo at appeal hearing

Originally Posted by Speedy Ron View Post
This is when you need tony soprano. He doesnt play this $h!t
Or Honey Badger
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Old 10-19-2012, 11:10 AM   #7
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Re: PFT: Vilma says NFL wonít produce Williams or Cerullo at appeal hearing

If they did produce them at the appeal hearing it would be additional evidence for submission in the court. If Ginsberg gets the chance to cross them up during the appeal, there is no telling what he would do to them under oath in the court.

The league appears to be protecting both Williams and Cerello from cross examination.

They may not be that lucky in a courtroom when someone else has the power... if they didn't have something to hide why not produce them.

House of Cards in the wind...
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Old 10-19-2012, 11:22 AM   #8
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Re: PFT: Vilma says NFL wonít produce Williams or Cerullo at appeal hearing

Originally Posted by kcsaints View Post
Or Honey Badger

"I was gonna hit Goodell, but then I got high"?
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Old 10-19-2012, 11:42 AM   #9
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Re: PFT: Vilma says NFL wonít produce Williams or Cerullo at appeal hearing



My God this is beautiful.
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Old 10-19-2012, 11:56 AM   #10
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Re: PFT: Vilma says NFL wonít produce Williams or Cerullo at appeal hearing

Apparently, Goodell and crew seem to think “it’s not a court proceeding” equates to "we don't need to be fair, honest or just".

It's almost like Goodell is begging the courts to get involved.
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