Appeals Panel Overturns Saints Player Suspensions; Players Eligible to Play Immediately
By: The Football Girl | Posted: September 07, 2012
In a nice Friday surprise for fans of the Saints and the legal system, a collective bargaining appeals panel has overturned the suspensions for the four players involved in the Saints “bounty program.”
Jonathan Vilma, Anthony Hargrove, Will Smith and Scott Fujita are eligible to play starting immediately. Vilma had been suspended the whole season, Hargrove for eight games, and Smith and Fujita for three games.
The appeals panel has stated that Roger Goodell does have the authority to suspend players for any “pay-to-injure” scheme, but the commissioner needs to produce more direct evidence to disciple these players.
Per an NFL spokesman:
"Consistent with the panel's decision, Commissioner Goodell will, as directed, make an expedited determination of the discipline imposed for violating the league's pay-for-performance/bounty rule. Until that determination is made, the four players are reinstated and eligible to play starting this weekend."
While most of "bounty four" may take the field Week 1 (Hargrove is a free agent), this case is far from over.
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