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Old 09-20-2012, 05:29 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Re: Suspended Saints' LB Vilma sues Goodell

From what I've loosely gathered, the players were able to return because Goodell wasn't clear about what part of the suspensions were for conduct detrimental to the league (pay-to-injure program) and what part were for salary cap violations (the actual payments). Apparantly as part of the CBA with the player's union, Goodell doesn't have the authority to punish players for non-contract compensation infractions (it goes to some arbitrator). Since the coaches aren't part of the player's union, it doesn't apply to them.

What I don't understand is, since the punishments were basically arbitrary to begin with, why Goodell can't just come back and say "all of the punishment was due to the conduct part". My personal speculation: in order for that kind of thing to stand up with the union he would have to provide evidence that the pay-to-injure program actually resulted in illegal and malicious hits on one of the program's targets (which I suspect he can't do, or we'd have seen the tape a million times).
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:33 AM   #32 (permalink)
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Re: Suspended Saints' LB Vilma sues Goodell

Paul Tagliabue vacates penalties
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:00 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Re: Suspended Saints' LB Vilma sues Goodell

Interesting, and a tad unexpected.
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Old 12-11-2012, 11:12 AM   #34 (permalink)
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Re: Suspended Saints' LB Vilma sues Goodell

So the NFL concludes that the players are still guilty but aren't going to be punished? Doesn't pass the smell test. Perhaps the NFL figures the Saints season is lost so there is nothing gained in continuing the issue further.
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Old 12-11-2012, 12:04 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Re: Suspended Saints' LB Vilma sues Goodell

Peter King seems to have put it well:

Quote:
Tagliabue blamed the team for the system being in place, not the players who went along with the system and funded it ... the same way judges in society sometimes find parents guilty for the actions of their law-violating children.

The players cooperated in the scheme, Tagliabue ruled, but he seemed to say that all they were doing was following orders. It's those who gave the orders under coach Sean Payton -- mainly former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams -- who deserve the blame for the existence of the system and how widespread on the defense it was.
Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nfl...#ixzz2Em9Qw64y
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Old 12-12-2012, 02:42 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Re: Suspended Saints' LB Vilma sues Goodell

Now Vilma is reportedly going to go forward with his defamation suit against Goodell, but especially given the evidence that's come out, I just can't see how he'll prove actual malice on Goodell's part - which is a high bar to reach.
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