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-   -   NEWS Vilma Says NO to Tagliabue (http://blackandgold.com/saints/52241-vilma-says-no-tagliabue.html)

kcsaints 10-24-2012 03:47 PM

Vilma Says NO to Tagliabue
 
Players oppose Tagliabue hearing appeals

By BARRY WILNER, AP Pro Football Writer 7 minutes ago

New Orleans linebacker Jonathan Vilma filed motions Wednesday to have former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue removed from hearing the appeals of the four players suspended in the Saints bounties case.

The players' union planned to file similar papers later in the day in U.S. District Court in New Orleans asking Tagliabue to recuse himself because of a conflict of interest.

Vilma also asked for a neutral arbitrator to be appointed by the court.

Commissioner Roger Goodell recused himself from hearing this set of appeals and appointed his predecessor last week. But the players and their union contend Tagliabue should be disqualified because of his employment by a law firm which has handled bounty-related matters for the league and represented Goodell in Vilma's defamation lawsuit against him.

The hearings are scheduled for next Tuesday.

The players association has concerns about "ethical and legal" issues involving Tagliabue hearing appeals by Vilma and defensive end Will Smith, Browns linebacker Scott Fujita and free agent DE Anthony Hargrove.

Fujita, meanwhile, was placed on injured reserve Wednesday by Cleveland and will miss the rest of the 2012 season. His suspension originally was three games, then was reduced to one by Goodell after a first set of player appeals.

Vilma was suspended for the entire season, but played last Sunday while the appeals process is in motion. Smith has a four-game suspension and Hargrove got eight games, subsequently reduced to seven. But he was cut in preseason by Green Bay and does not have a team.

The union also might contend that such "pay-for programs" existed when Tagliabue was commissioner, with his knowledge.

Last week, the NFL and the union discussed the possibility that Tagliabue would step in if Goodell recused himself from hearing the appeals, and the union also suggested "several outsiders" who could be used in place of Goodell.

Tagliabue was NFL commissioner from 1989-2006. For part of that time, Goodell was the league's general counsel.

The collective bargaining agreement with the union that was reached to end the lockout in August 2011 gave Goodell exclusive authority to hear appeals of discipline for conduct detrimental to the league or to appoint someone to hear and decide an appeal. Goodell periodically has appointed others to hear appeals for club fines, personal conduct suspensions and for matters concerning drug and steroid policy.

Goodell handed down the suspensions in May and they took effect in July after initial appeals were rejected by Goodell. Those suspensions lasted through training camp before being vacated by a three-member appeals panel that instructed Goodell to start the disciplinary process again and clarify his reasons for suspending the players.

The suspensions were reissued by the NFL two weeks ago and promptly appealed by all four players.

AP Sports Writer Brett Martel in New Orleans contributed to this story.

The Associated Press: Players oppose Tagliabue hearing appeals

kcsaints 10-24-2012 03:50 PM

Re: Vilma Says NO to Tagliabue
 
Love this!

From Vilma's legal brief: "The Court has the authority to put an end to this charade and appoint a neutral arbitrator as soon as possible."

Halo 10-24-2012 03:59 PM

Re: Vilma Says NO to Tagliabue
 
The entire process from the NFL is a joke.
They just embarrass themselves all the time.

Rugby Saint II 10-24-2012 04:13 PM

Re: Vilma Says NO to Tagliabue
 
They should have hired the three stooges law firm.....they would have had better results.

Beastmode 10-24-2012 04:27 PM

Re: Vilma Says NO to Tagliabue
 
Halo, I could not agree more. Total failure on the NFL on every level. The investigation, the judgement, the re-evaluation of suspensions, the recused Goodell being replaced by someone with even stronger ties to the NFL system...they keep adding more garbage to this rancid pile of trash. The fans know it, the players know it, and a federal judge knows it. I hope they get what's coming to them in full force.

saintfan 10-24-2012 04:28 PM

Re: Vilma Says NO to Tagliabue
 
:popcorn:

Halo 10-24-2012 06:01 PM

Re: Vilma Says NO to Tagliabue
 
In other news, Roger Goodell says the NFL may kill the Pro Bowl... (but extend the season by 2 more games, just sayin...)

SmashMouth 10-24-2012 06:35 PM

Re: Vilma Says NO to Tagliabue
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by saintfan (Post 451746)
:popcorn:

http://www.popcorn.org/Portals/0/Ima...cornKernel.gif

QBREES9 10-24-2012 06:53 PM

Re: Vilma Says NO to Tagliabue
 
Paul Tagliabue should recuse himself because it is a conflict of interest.

Vilma also asked for a neutral arbitrator to be appointed by the court.

That should happen. To be fair. Just sayin

TheEnigma 10-24-2012 06:53 PM

Re: Vilma Says NO to Tagliabue
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Halo (Post 451775)
In other news, Roger Goodell says the NFL may kill the Pro Bowl... (but extend the season by 2 more games, just sayin...)

What else is it going to take for someone to step in force Goodell out? Does anyone have the power to do so?


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