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Tagliabue overturns ALL player discipline in the Bounty case

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; And this must do wonders for Vilma's defamation law-suit against Goodell lol... Sean Payton and Mickey need to look into getting compensation. Tom Benson needs to look at suing the league as well... THIS HAS JUST BEGUN...

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Old 12-11-2012, 03:25 PM   #31
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And this must do wonders for Vilma's defamation law-suit against Goodell lol...

Sean Payton and Mickey need to look into getting compensation. Tom Benson needs to look at suing the league as well... THIS HAS JUST BEGUN
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:18 PM   #32
 
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Re: Tagliabue overturns ALL player discipline in the Bounty case

So they now owe Fujita at least a game check, Hargrove some cash, Smith etc....



Below is a pretty good read on what transpired with today's decision:

Let me get this straight.

Former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue has found that current commissioner Roger Goodell was spot on in his finding of facts in the New Orleans Saints bounty saga? But Tagliabue has vacated all player discipline?

That’s more than a little contradictory. In fact, it’s ridiculous.

Tagliabue is agreeing with Goodell that the Saints ran a bounty program for three years, but Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith, Anthony Hargrove and Scott Fujita no longer are facing suspensions.

Heck, they probably won't even face fines, unless Goodell oversteps Tagliabue -- but I think Goodell is planning on staying in his own lane now.

SportsNation: Suspensions Vacated
Paul Tagliabue has vacated the suspensions of players involved in the Saints bounty scandal. Did he make the right call?
• Cast your votes!

“My affirmation of commissioner Goodell's findings could certainly justify the issuance of fines,’’ Tagliabue said in part of his statement. “However, this entire case has been contaminated by the coaches and others in the Saints' organization.’’

Sounds to me like Tagliabue and the NFL are taking the easy way out of this one. They’re pointing their fingers squarely at coach Sean Payton, former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, general manager Mickey Loomis and assistant head coach Joe Vitt.

There’s one huge difference between the coaches and general manager and the four players: The players are represented by the NFL Players Association, which challenged every step of the process, even though you could make a case that the union was siding with the best interest of four players over the safety of hundreds of others.

The NFLPA appealed every decision, and it ultimately won. Vilma doesn’t have to face a season-long suspension. Smith doesn’t have to miss eight games. Hargrove, who is currently out of the league, doesn’t face a seven-game suspension. Fujita, who might have suffered a career-ending injury this season, doesn’t face a one-game suspension.

The league still is saying the players did what the league alleged from the start, and Tagliabue’s statement reiterates that he found convincing evidence that there was a bounty on Minnesota quarterback Brett Favre in the NFC Championship Game of the 2009 season.

But the players aren’t getting suspended, they’re not losing paychecks and they’re not getting fined. They’re getting off pretty much free, except for whatever damage was done to their reputations by this whole sordid saga.

That damage was significant, and we might not have heard the last of it on that front. Vilma still has a defamation lawsuit against Goodell. If I’m Vilma, I’m not dropping that lawsuit.

Vilma has shown that you can take on what was supposed to be an almighty commissioner and win. It’s hard to win a defamation lawsuit because you have to prove intent to put out statements you knew were untrue, but Vilma is on a roll, so why not continue pursuing it?

Vilma’s attorney, Peter R. Ginsberg, already has said the defamation suit isn’t going away.

“We are obviously relieved and gratified that Jonathan no longer needs to worry about facing an unjustified suspension,’’ Ginsberg said in a statement. “On the other hand, commissioner Tagliabue's rationalization of commissioner Goodell's actions does nothing to rectify the harm done by the baseless allegations lodged against Jonathan. Jonathan has a right and every intention to pursue proving what really occurred and we look forward to returning to a public forum where the true facts can see the light of day.’’

Maybe Vilma can get the NFL to keep backtracking and say there was no bounty on Favre, because it sure looks like the league doesn’t want to fight anymore.

Apparently, the league’s approach now is to just blame it all on Loomis, who already has served an eight-game suspension, and Vitt, who already has served a six-game suspension. And put even more blame on Payton, who is serving a season-long suspension, and Williams, who is banned indefinitely.

Those four are the easy targets because they exhausted their appeals long ago. The only option they had was to appeal their decision to one judge. That was Goodell, back in the spring, and he upheld his own punishments and the clock on those suspensions started ticking.

But the hands of the clock on player punishments were tied up by constant appeals and Vilma’s lawsuit.

Makes you wonder whether Payton, Loomis, Vitt and Williams might have taken a different tack if they knew in the spring what they know now.

There’s no absolute vindication for anyone because Tagliabue and the league still are saying the Saints ran a bounty program.

But one group of the alleged culprits is walking away without any punishment, and the other already has served or is serving its punishment.

That’s because the players fought it and, in the end, Tagliabue grabbed the NFL by its shoulders and pulled the league out of the fight.

from Pat Yasinskas

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Last edited by SmashMouth; 12-11-2012 at 07:56 PM..
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:16 PM   #33
 
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Re: Tagliabue overturns ALL player discipline in the Bounty case

Some highlights of the ruling:

Tagliabue’s ruling is very lengthy (22 pages), so if you don’t have time to read it all, let me summarize it and provide some highlights.

First off, Tagliabue makes it abundantly clear on repeated occasions that he found current commissioner Roger Goodell’s findings that the Saints ran a three-year bounty program to be accurate. Tagliabue said linebacker Jonathan Vilma, defensive end Will Smith and former New Orleans defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove engaged in conduct detrimental to the game, although he ruled that former New Orleans linebacker Scott Fujita did not take part in detrimental conduct.

Tagliabue criticized the behavior of New Orleans players that took part in the bounty program, but, as I read the ruling, it became very clear that he’s shifting most of the blame to coaches and the front office.

The biggest theme I saw as I went through the document was Tagliabue pointing to the behavior of coach Sean Payton, assistant head coach Joe Vitt, former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and general manager Mickey Loomis as being way out of bounds.

Below are some excerpts where Tagliabue addresses that theme:
“The Program eventually led to allegations of a bounty being placed on (former Minnesota quarterback Brett) Favre. Making matters far more serious -- as well as challenging for Commissioner Goodell and League investigators -- Saints’ coaches and managers led a deliberate, unprecedented and effective effort to obstruct the NFL’s investigation into the Program and the alleged bounty.’’
“These suspensions thus deprived the Saints of vitally important coaching and leadership talent, and they represented a severe competitive penalty for the Saints’ team, its fans and indirectly for the New Orleans / Gulf Coast region. Commissioner Goodell’s findings and the resulting suspensions of these Saints’ personnel are final and no longer subject to appeal.’’
“There is evidence in the record that suggests that Commissioner Goodell could have disciplined a greater number of Saints’ players for the events that occurred here. This sad chapter in the otherwise praiseworthy history of the New Orleans Saints casts no executive, coach or player in a favorable light.
“It is important to note that Commissioner Goodell has been forced to address the issues of misconduct by some individuals in the Saints’ organization since early 2010 to the present. Due to the indefensible obstruction of justice by Saints’ personnel, which included admitted efforts of coaches to mislead or otherwise deny the existence of a bounty or the Program, a disciplinary process that should have taken weeks is verging on three years."
“Vitt admitted to NFL investigators in 2012 that he “fabricated the truth” when he spoke to an NFL investigator in March 2010 about whether there had been a bounty on Favre. He later claimed that his admitted fabrication was just “stretching the truth” because he failed to describe for investigators the emotionalism of the defensive team meeting the night before the NFC Championship Game."
“There is no question that Coach Williams and other coaches orchestrated the Program to incentivize cart-offs and knockouts; carefully choreographed defensive team meetings, including presenting graphic slide presentations showing injuries to opposing players; ensured that any player who would speak at team meetings was adequately prepared or supported; and generally created an atmosphere in the 2009 season and playoffs that suggested to Saints’ players that offering a $10,000 bounty to injure an opposing player was permissible behavior."

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Old 12-11-2012, 08:17 PM   #34
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Re: Tagliabue overturns ALL player discipline in the Bounty case

This is a class-A cop out, if I've ever seen one. He vacates the players' penalties but says they engaged in conduct detrimental to the league? Say what?

The first thing that came to mind as soon as I saw the crawl on tv was that tagliabue wants to appear non biased, while saving roger's face. like I said, a cop out. How is it that the coaches contaminated the investigation? I think that's an A-hole way of saying "they brought facts to the table that compromised our ability to prove our lies and rhetoric".

If they had any actual proof, there would be no way for it to be "contaminated" just by virtue of the coaches and players exercising their right to defend themselves. And with said proof, what would stop them from upholding the players' suspensions? It makes absolutely no sense to say you're innocent and guilty at the same time. I have no more respect for Tags than I do for Goodell, at this point.

If I had a nickel for every time I heard that, the NFL would fine and suspend me.
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:20 AM   #35
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Re: Tagliabue overturns ALL player discipline in the Bounty case

My "conspiracy theory" mind has been rolling ever since I heard the news about all this. We all know that Goodell was out to make a statement from the beginning and used the Saints as his patsies. They knew that we the Saints would be Super Bowl contenders as long as Sean Payton was still at the helm and they couldn't have them hosting the Super Bowl in New Orleans. Get rid of Sean, cause chaos within the front office and coaching staff, get in the players heads enough to wreck their season. After the current losing streak by the Saints assured the NFL that they wouldn't even be making it to the postseason, then they had the leeway to lift the suspensions entirely, because:

1. Hargrove was initially suspended for 8 games. He was cut by the Packers and hasn't played a snap all season. Suspension or not, goal achieved by the NFL.

2. Vilma missed 6 games due to being on the PUP list nursing a knee injury that he couldn't rehab WITH THE TEAM and may not have missed those games if he had been able to properly heal with team trainers.. Although he has been able to play, he still missed valuable time on the field in the preseason and hasn't been an effective player since his return. Once again, goal achieved by the NFL.

3. Fujita suffers a season and maybe career-ending injury. Only suspended three games, then reduced to one. However, he still has missed plenty of games. You guessed it. Goal achieved.

4. The coaches and Loomis have all served or are still serving their respective suspensions with no chance of having them overturned because of the absence of a coaches' union. Anyone seeing the trend yet on what the NFL set out to do?

Will Smith is the only player who hasn't missed any time on the field in the regular season. Even though their objective here failed, the NFL could only count this as a small loss. Still the damage had been done.

It makes perfect sense to me that they delay their decision to lift the suspensions on all players involved until after the Saints' season is a complete wash, because their goal was to make an example out of them, and it eventually worked in their favor.

It doesn't matter the outcome of any defamation suit Vilma may have against Goodell, because in the grand scheme of things, the NFL still won.

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Old 12-12-2012, 08:34 AM   #36
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Re: Tagliabue vactes all discipline

Originally Posted by blackangold View Post
And this must do wonders for Vilma's defamation law-suit against Goodell lol...

Sean Payton and Mickey need to look into getting compensation. Tom Benson needs to look at suing the league as well... THIS HAS JUST BEGUN
This crusade needs to end. For the sake of the team and the 2013 season.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:55 AM   #37
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Re: Tagliabue overturns ALL player discipline in the Bounty case

Here's my entire theory on this witch hunt that has gone on this season:

I was listening to Mike and Mike this morning and both Golic and Schlereth were very outspoken about how they thought this process has been unfair to the players and how its all a ruse to make it seem like they care about player saftey. Schelreth also asked Will Smith a very good question in the interview this morning on the alleged 3yr investigation…and Will Smith said that he had no idea there was even an investigation going on until after he was punished. To me thats very very fishy when it comes to the whole thing with the coaches.

In IMHO….I think when Goodell investigated he specifically asked were they running a PAY TO INJURE program and the true answer was no. They were running a pay for performance just like every team in the league. Never to injure anyone. And when they asked Hargrove the same question he answered the same way. Goodell didn’t like the answer, even though it was the truth of what was going on cuz it wasn’t enough to throw out record breaking suspensions…just fines. So he threw the word Bounty on it to hide what was really going on (pay for performance) so he could justify using the “conduct detrimental” reason for punishing as harshly as he did.

He needed a team to take the fall so he chose the Saints, and the reason i think he chose the Saints is that he felt that Payton thumbed his nose at him and didn’t respect his authority, Payton was friends with a felon which he didn’t approve of, but just because he personally didn’t approve didn’t mean he could suspend him for it. Everything that Payton did to undermine Goodell didn’t fall under Goodell’s jurisdiction to levy punishment….it fell under Benson and Benson didn’t care what SP did, as long as he won. Goodell didn’t like that Benson gave SP that kind of power but he couldn’t do anything about it because Benson does not answer to Goodell. There in lies the problem with Goodell’s lust for power. He feels he should be the judge, jury and moral authortiy over all…..whether its right or wrong what SP did to thumb his nose at Goodell…its not his place levy punishment for that…because none of the infractions were ON THE FIELD. Goodell's purpose when it comes to punishments it to police players and coaches for ON THE FIELD conduct, what Payton does business wise in regards to things like hiring/being friends with certain people or just being an arrogant a**hole which is his personality, is a problem for the Saints organization to handle…NOT Goodell.

Roger didn’t like that and felt that since he couldn’t do what he really wanted to do he would manufacture something so he could….except when he didn’t get what he wanted out of the intitial investigation in 2009 after the NFC Championship game….he wasn’t just gonna leave without a patsie….the lawsuits were piling up and he needed a team to punish and make himself and the NFL look like they were actually trying to do something right by player saftey. So he waited until he could find a way to spin it the way he needed to. In comes a disgruntled employee trying to get off the "black balled" list of NFL assistants and get another job....

And as you see…even though Goodell took a major blow to his reputation as far as his treatment of players….he’s arrogant enough to say this is a win cuz in the end he still stuck it to the Saints and ruined their season. Was able to, use the fact that the coaches have no union to fight, find a loophole to take SP power away by rejecting his extension and make him a FA next year. Almost forcing the Saints to struggle to keep him because of his demand. But with Benson now thinking of suing if we can’t keep him at least for 2013 to fufill his last year of his original contract (not the extension that was voided)….now he has another fight on his hands that I really think he could lose…because this in not an employee you have coming after you…its one of the 32 guys that writes your checks…..
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:17 PM   #38
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Re: Tagliabue overturns ALL player discipline in the Bounty case

Will Tagliabue Ruling Affect Payton? - ESPN Video - ESPN
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:59 PM   #39
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Re: Tagliabue overturns ALL player discipline in the Bounty case

Roger Goodell Suspends Paul Tagliabue - ProFootballMock.com*|*ProFootballMock.com
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Old 12-12-2012, 04:28 PM   #40
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Re: Tagliabue overturns ALL player discipline in the Bounty case

Now that it's sunk in over the past 24 hours... I have to repeat the sentiment's of others here: The damage is done so who cares? Vilma and Smith aren't going to be on the team next year (Vilma may, but definitely not as a starter.) Let's just put it all behind us and focus on the future.
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