NFL: Tagliabue Vacates All Player Discipline, Suspensions In Saints Bounty Case
Better late than never? Not so much, but regardless, NFL spokesperson Greg Aiello just revealed via Twitter, the league’s statement regarding the Saints bounty appeal hearing.
“Tagliabue affirms factual findings of Commissioner Goodell concludes Hargrove, Smith, Vilma “engaged in conduct detrimental” and vacates all player discipline,”
With the Saints struggling 2012 season, most of the damage that Goodell intended to do, has been done – but nevertheless, the suspensions handed down to Jonathan Vilma, Anthony Hargrove, Scott Fujita and Will Smith, for their alleged involvement in a bounty program, have been overturned.
Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue also issued a statement, basically saying that though he does believe the Saints players did do wrong, but should not have been punished.
Unlike Saints’ broad organizational misconduct, player appeals involve sharply focused issues of alleged individual player misconduct in several different aspects. My affirmation of Commissioner Goodell’s findings could certainly justify the issuance of fines. However, this entire case has been contaminated by the coaches and others in the Saints’ organization.
We’ll keep you updated on this developing story, but for now, it seems as though it may be too little, too late – the players have won.