Tagliabue Vacates Bounty Penalties

Tagliabue Vacates Bounty Penalties

Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue made a drastic change in the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal as the NFL announced all suspensions and penalties for Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma and defensive end Will Smith, along with former linebacker Scott Fujita and defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove have been vacated.

 

Here's what NFL spokesman Greg Aiello wrote on Tagliabue's decision via Twitter Tuesday afternoon: "Tagliabue affirms factual findings of Commissioner Goodell...concludes Hargrove, Smith, Vilma 'engaged in conduct detrimental' and vacates all player discipline."

 

 

Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue made a drastic change in the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal Tuesday as the NFL announced all suspensions and penalties for Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma and defensive end Will Smith, along with former linebacker Scott Fujita and defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove have been vacated.

Here's a statement from Tagliabue through the NFL: "Unlike Saints' broad organizational misconduct, player appeals involve sharply focused issues of alleged individual player misconduct in several different aspects. My (Tagliabue) 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."

 

More from Tagliabue: "Having reviewed the testimony very carefully, including documentary evidence that is at the center of the conflict, and having assessed the credibility of the four central witnesses on these matters, I find there is more than enough evidence to support Commissioner Goodell's findings that Mr. Vilma offered such a bounty (on Brett Favre)."

 

Here's the NFL statement on Tagliabue's decision: "We respect Mr. Tagliabue's decision, which underscores the due process afforded players in NFL disciplinary matters. This matter has now been reviewed by Commissioner Goodell, two CBA grievance arbitrators, the CBA Appeals Panel, and Mr. Tagliabue as Commissioner Goodell's designated appeals officer. 

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