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Dec 27, 2012 8:03pm
Medium lingzi 1454 posts

NFL lawyers filed a motion in U. Brian Urlacher Camo Jersey .S. District Court
in New Orleans on Friday, arguing that former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue
should be allowed to hear appeals on the Saints bounties case next week. In
their motion, NFL lawyers quote defendant Jonathan Vilmas statement to ESPN in
which he supported Tagliabue being appointed to the role, saying “I think its a
good first step for Paul to be the neutral arbitrator.” NFL lawyers wrote that,
“Mr. Vilma was right that Commissioner Tagliabue was a good appointment.
“Commissioner Tagliabue has the experience necessary to assess whether the
conduct the players engaged in was detrimental to the League and, if so, to
assess the propriety of the discipline that Commissioner Goodell imposed. It is
difficult to think of anyone else more qualified.” The action comes after the
players union and the four players suspended in the bounties case filed a motion
asking that Tagliabue recuse himself from the case because of what they say is a
conflict of interest. They want a neutral arbitrator to be appointed by the
court. NFL lawyers argue that the NFL Players Association has no basis to accuse
Tagliabue of “anything nefarious,” saying that the players union itself admitted
that Tagliabue has not had any “personal involvement in the investigation,
arbitration or litigation of the bounty matter.” The hearings are scheduled for
Tuesday, subject to any rulings. 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
defensive end Anthony Hargrove. Vilma received the stiffest suspension of the
four—ruled out for the entire season—but he played last Sunday while the
appeals process is in motion. The union also contends that pay-for-hits programs
such as the one the NFL says operated in New Orleans existed when Tagliabue was
commissioner, with his knowledge. Tagliabue was NFL commissioner from 1989-2006.
For part of that time, Goodell was the leagues general counsel. 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
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