Paul Tagliabue vacates all suspensions on Saints bounty case, even though he concurs with facts found by league re: Vilma, Smith, Hargrove
So Will Smith, Jonathan Vilma, Scott Fujita and Anthony Hargrove are on the hook for what they did, but off the hook on penalties.
So, I'm not good with legalese, but it appears Tagliabue said yes there was some issues w/ the system. But not not enough for Goodell's ...
...issuance of penalties. Tagliabue therefor decided to vacate the penalties.
I've got the decision from Tagliabue ... It basically clears Scott Fujita.
"The players are guilty, but we can't prove it, and for that they have only themselves to blame" - NFL
Tags vacates player suspensions but throws Goodell a bone by saying the
#Saints tainted the investigation and coaches stay suspended, right?
Tagliabue's finding that the bounty case was contaminated by Saints organization and coaches appears to be major point of culpability.
So Vilma put a bounty on Favre but he can play? Sean Payton wasn't in that meeting so he can't coach?
Just spoke w/Vilma's lawyer, Peter Ginsberg. Told me, "Jonathan intends to continue to pursue the defamation lawsuit in order to reclaim ...
(Ginsberg cont): "... his reputation. We’re pleased that the unjust penalties have been overturned, but this is only one piece in ..."
Clearly the NFL was terrified of going to court and allowing the REAL Ginger Hammer to set precedent for coaches to bring the fight next
Tagliabue found on Hargrove there is "not sufficient evidence to demonstrate in these unique circumstances" that a suspension is warranted.
Tags: "Everything would have been fine if they'd just admitted it! But nooooo!"
Tagliabue found on Fujita, participation in "non-injury" pay pool is "typically subject only to club discipline", so no conduct detrimental.
Congratulations to our players for having the suspensions vacated. Unfortunately, there are some things that can never be taken back
Here's a brief synopsis from Pro Football Talk:
“Tagliabue affirms factual findings of Commissioner Goodell concludes Hargrove, Smith, Vilma “engaged in conduct detrimental” and vacates all player discipline,” Aiello says, using “and” where perhaps “but” would have been the better choice.
Regardless, the suspensions imposed on Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, Saints defensive end Will Smith, Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, and free-agent defensive end Anthony Hargrove have been overturned.
He also offers this quote from former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, who issued the ruling: “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.”
In other words, Tagliabue had decided that the players should not be punished, even though he thinks they did something wrong.