Tagliabue vacates suspensions in bounty case
Former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue overturned the suspensions of four current and former New Orleans Saints players who had been punished by the league in connection to the alleged bounty scandal involving the team.
Tagliabue, appointed by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to hear the players’ appeals in the case, affirmed the factual findings of Goodell and concluded that Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith and Anthony Hargrove engaged in conduct detrimental to the sport, a league spokesman announced Tuesday on Twitter.
According to Greg Aiello, the NFL’s senior vice president of communications, Tagliabue ruled that the findings justified the issuance of fines.
But Tagliabue vacated all player discipline in the case and ruled that the “entire case has been contaminated by the coaches and others in the Saints’ organization,” Aiello wrote.
The league had suspended current Saints players Vilma and Smith and former Saints players Hargrove and Scott Fujita after concluding that they’d particiapted in a program by which players were paid for hits that injured opponents. The players denied the allegations.
— The Washington Post