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Old 06-02-2012, 07:46 AM   #21
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Default Re: Jonathan Vilma sues Roger Goodell

i get the fact that Vilma wanted to see the "evidence" so he knew what he was defending against (also i'm sure he was hoping they didn't have anything..).
But the fact is that of course the NFL has documents and evidence. They're not going to suspend him for an entire year with nothing to back it up. The NFL has done some dumb things over the last year or so, but they're not THAT dumb.
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Old 06-02-2012, 08:38 AM   #22
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Default Re: Jonathan Vilma sues Roger Goodell

Quote:
Originally Posted by tony hipchest View Post
the nfl just sank his battleship.

while that doesnt directly implicate him, they can release more evidence if they want to.

they most certainly will if they HAVE to.
Exactly - this is a very well run PR campaign by the league

The league office leaks incriminating documents piecemeal rather than disclosing everything it has that is incriminating or exculpatory

The Saints coaches and front office guys want to work in the league again so they will roll over

Vilma should have gone before Goodell, confessed his sins to his master, and perhaps had the 16 game suspension knocked down to 8 (remember how Ben finally recognized what he needed to do and had his suspension reduced to 4 games?). Now his season is gone and unlike coaches that is a year he cannot get back as he gets older.

Vilma can thank the NFLPA for this - the union could have sought an arbitration clause like the baseball players union has for review of disciplinary action (think the player who had his 50 game suspension for alleged PED use overturned by an outside arbitrator would have won if the baseball commissioner had the only vote?) but decided not to push that in last year's negotiations
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Old 06-02-2012, 08:59 AM   #23
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Default Re: Jonathan Vilma sues Roger Goodell

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlanta Dan View Post
this is a very well run PR campaign by the league
the way the League is run these days, that's all it is... a PR-machine

build a stadium with an over-head monitor too-low (by NFL specs) that may interfere with a ball-in-play??? ~ tell the masses to marvel at the other amenities the facility has to offer

have the Super Bowl at a stadium (same-place), where tickets are sold to fans for seats that don't exist??? ~ throw more confetti, and the networks won't mention it

former Commissioner Pete Rozelle came from a PR-background, yet he nutured the game's popularity based-on the game-itself, but Ms. Goodell has taken the 'hype' to new levels


Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlanta Dan View Post
Vilma can thank the NFLPA for this
what amazes me is that the 1800+ member NFLPA hasn't gone-after Vilma and the other Saints players involved, for trying to injure & ruin the careers of it's due-paying brethren
if a team-owner had verbally mentioned 'getting' an opposing player, the NFLPA would've screamed like a mashed-cat, but because it is THEIR members who were doing the dirty-deeds, they are silent

hence, I root for the meteor
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Old 06-02-2012, 01:57 PM   #24
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Default Re: Jonathan Vilma sues Roger Goodell

Vilma’s lawyer calls Goodell “misguided and irresponsible”

Posted by Mike Florio on June 2, 2012



Attorney Peter Ginsberg, who represents Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma in the bounty appeal and the defamation lawsuit filed against Commissioner Roger Goodell, has issued a statement in response to Friday’s stories regarding the ledger that supposedly documents bounty payments to Saints players.

Ginsberg calls the report “yet more evidence of how misguided and irresponsible Commissioner Goodell has been in handling this issue.”

The lawyer then raises three alleged deficiencies regarding the leaked ledger evidence: (1) the information identifies no specific players who were injured or paid; (2) statistics from the 2009 game between the Saints and the Panthers, for which three $1,000 payments allegedly were made, “show that opposing defensive players, not offensive players, were the brunt of any physical plays”; and (3) the payments made, regardless of the name applied, reflected “good, clean, legal plays, and . . . any dirty or penalized play resulted in fines to players, not awards.”

Ginsberg then offers a general comment on Vilma’s role in the alleged bounty program: “The truth is that Jonathan Vilma gave no money, incentive or encouragement ever — not at any time in his eight-year career — to injure or knock out of any game any player with a dirty or unsportsmanlike hit. The facts are plain and simple. During the three seasons in question, Jonathan Vilma was one of the least penalized players not only on the Saints but in the NFL. There is not one instance in which Jonathan Vilma set out to injure a player or gave any incentive to another player to injure an opposing player.”

That final paragraph invites questions as to whether Vilma gave money, incentive, and/or encouragement to knock a player out of a game with a clean or sportsmanlike hit. Either way, this controversy won’t be resolved until someone/anyone discloses all evidence of player guilt and/or innocence.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com...irresponsible/
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Old 06-05-2012, 02:00 AM   #25
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Default Re: Jonathan Vilma sues Roger Goodell

Burbank’s ruling doesn’t prove, or disprove, the existence of a bounty system

Posted by Mike Florio on June 5, 2012



Headlines can be misleading, intentionally or otherwise. Monday’s development in the bounty case — the decision by Stephen Burbank to reject one of the grievances filed by the NFLPA on behalf of the suspended players — has been interpreted by many as a decision that the appeals have failed and that the suspension will be served.

That’s not what it means.

The gist of the nine-page ruling is that, while Burbank has the sole ability to determine whether teams have violated the salary cap via additional payments to players above and beyond their contracts, that rule doesn’t apply to the three players accused of funding the alleged bounty pool, since the players aren’t the “team.”

That’s it. Sometimes (OK, rarely), it really is that simple.

As the NFLPA’s statement in response to the decision points out, Burbank concludes his ruling by explaining clearly what the decision is not — “nothing in this opinion is intended to convey a view about the underlying facts or the appropriateness of the discipline imposed.”

In light of the language of the labor deal, Burbank likely made the right call. As to Packers defensive Anthony Hargrove, over whose claim Burbank retained jurisdiction pending clarification by the NFL as to the behavior for which he has been punished, Burbank gave the NFL a clear roadmap for keeping the discipline away from Burbank’s authority.

The NFLPA still has a pending grievance that attacks Commissioner Roger Goodell’s ability to punish any players for conduct occurring before the current labor deal was signed in August 2011, and that argues the appeals should be handled by Ted Cottrell or Art Shell. The players could win on either of those points.

Besides, the appeals still have to be handled on the merits (unless the NFLPA prevails on its argument that player are immune for anything that happened before August 2011). If Goodell hears the appeals and upholds the suspensions, a legal challenge may be pursued on the back end.

Thus, the NFLPA initially has failed in its effort to shift the process away from Goodell and to Stephen Burbank. That’s all that happened.

And that decision will be appealed, so there’s still a chance that the players will prevail on that point.

So regardless of how badly you may want all of this to be over, there’s still a long way to go.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com...ry/rumor-mill/
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:14 PM   #26
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Default Re: Jonathan Vilma sues Roger Goodell

Goodell to hear bounty appeals June 18

Posted by Mike Florio on June 6, 2012

Despite a pending grievance questioning his authority to discipline four players for involvement in the Saints’ alleged bounty system and an expected appeal of a separate grievance that raises a similar point, Commissioner Roger Goodell will conduct hearings on the appeals of the quartet of suspensions.

Steve Wyche of NFL Network reports that the hearings will proceed on June 18 as to Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma (who was suspended a full season), Saints defensive end Will Smith (four games), Packers defensive end Anthony Hargrove (eight games), and Browns linebacker Scott Fujita (three games).

The hearing date has been picked even though arbitrator Shyam Das has yet to rule on the questions of whether the new labor deal blocks any discipline against players for conduct happening before August 2011, and whether the appeals should be heard by Ted Cottrell and Art Shell, who review penalties imposed for on-field misconduct.

A separate grievance arguing that the penalties fall within the jurisdiction of System Arbitrator Richard Burbank, who handles alleged violations of the salary cap, will be appealed by the NFLPA. Burbank ruled earlier this week that he has no jurisdiction over the suspensions.

The rules applicable to the hearings before Goodell aren’t known. Will evidence of guilt be provided to the players so that they can prepare to challenge the league’s case with arguments, documents, witnesses, or other tactics? Or will the league simply rely on summaries or characterizations of evidence? Will witnesses supporting the league’s claims testify? How much time will be allotted to the process?

Depending on whether and to what extent the players believe a fair process will be utilized, don’t be shocked if one or more of the players (most likely, Vilma) refuse to proceed. Then again, submitting to an unfair process could make it easier to attack the final decision in court, after the fact.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com...peals-june-18/
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Old 06-07-2012, 01:39 PM   #27
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Default Re: Jonathan Vilma sues Roger Goodell

Players will get evidence three days before bounty hearing

Posted by Mike Florio on June 7, 2012



With Commissioner Roger Goodell setting the bounty appeal hearings for Monday, June 18, questions linger regarding the procedures to be used and, most importantly, whether the NFL will share raw evidence of the bounty system with the players who are challenging their suspensions: Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, Saints defensive end Will Smith, Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, and Packers defensive end Anthony Hargrove.

Per a source with knowledge of the proceedings, the league is required by the CBA to disclose the evidence it plans to rely upon during the appeal hearings three days in advance of the sessions.

That’s not a blanket requirement that the league open its files. Instead, the league must produce only what it plans to use.

Thus, if there is evidence that points to innocence, the league isn’t required to give it to the players and the NFLPA.

Though, in theory, the league could keep its intended evidence simple in light of the fact that Goodell has full authority over the appeals, the final outcome most likely will be subject to attack in court. The more slanted and biased the process seems, the more effective the players arguments for relief will become. Thus, if the league holds back evidence, the suspensions could be more vulnerable to being overturned by a federal judge.

Given that the league plans to conduct all four appeal hearings on the same day, it’s unlikely that the NFL will use a lengthy, complex presentation of evidence. Few if any trials can be completed in one day; the idea that four hearings involving hotly disputed allegations can be conducted on June 18 suggests that the procedures are more perfunctory than meaningful.

The players will have a much better sense of how detailed the process will be next Friday, when the NFL hands over the evidence that will be used.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com...ounty-hearing/
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:03 PM   #28
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Default Re: Jonathan Vilma sues Roger Goodell

Apparently the Saints prepared PowerPoints which they did not get around to deleting from the hard drives - brilliant

As Mary Jo White, the former federal prosecutor who examined the evidence for the National Football League in its pay-for-performance/bounty case against the New Orleans Saints, went through reams of evidence Monday afternoon for 12 reporters in league offices, I had one overriding thought: All of this cannot be invented.,,,

The testimony from disgraced defensive coordinator Gregg Williams to the league, in which he said he knew the program "was rolling the dice with player safety and someone could have been maimed."...

The PowerPoint slide collected from a sweep of the Saints' computer system, from the night before the Saints' playoff loss at Seattle in January 2011, complete with a picture of TV bounty hunter Duane "Dog'' Chapman, that said, "Now is the time to do our job ... collect bounty $$$! No apologies! Let's go hunting!''..

The unending stream of evidence from Saints computers, which is going to create some very strange bedfellows inside the Saints' football facility ... seeing that the two-year sweep of the all Saints' e-mails and computer-generated PowerPoints was OK'd by owner Tom Benson, who helped seal the case against the four suspended players and three coaches and general manager Mickey Loomis by allowing forensics experts to search for incriminating electronic evidence against his employees.


http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/201...f=twitter_feed

ESPN also is lined up with Peter King behind Goodell on this - Saints are getting rolled in the media

FWIW Florio at PFT is not on board

If any of the evidence shown today to an Apostle-sized collection of scribes wasn’t given to the NFLPA and the four suspended players on Friday, Peter needs to add another word to his description.

“Irrelevant.”....

So either the NFL did a fantastic job of propping up items such as Sean Pamphilon’s ridiculously rambling 10,000-plus-word manifesto during the dog-and-pony show, or the NFL showed the reporters evidence that the NFL failed to give to the suspended players and their union.

If the latter is the truth, there’s something very wrong with this picture.


http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com...ry/rumor-mill/
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Old 06-19-2012, 02:19 PM   #29
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Default Re: Jonathan Vilma sues Roger Goodell

Ryan Clark Tried To Warn Everyone About The Absolute Power Of Roger Goodell

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012 by Dave Bryan

The Pittsburgh Steelers as a team voted against ratifying the new CBA last summer and now it appears several players across the league wished they had done the same.

Jim Corbett of the USA Today reported on Monday that Kansas City Chiefs right tackle Eric Winston expressed deep regret to his medium that the NFLPA didn't do more to curb the disciplinary and appeal powers of commissioner Roger Goodell in light of the appeal hearings of the players involved in Bountygate.

"Obviously we don't want Roger Goodell having absolute power. In a lot of this process, it seems like he does," said Winston. "It's unfortunate. It seems like he's running amok with it and deciding to do what he wants and it really doesn't matter what the evidence says. Unfortunately, we don't have an alternative option to appeal to."

Winston is not alone as Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White took to Twitter with his disgust on Monday as well. White stated in his social media rant that he never wanted to sign that voting card and that he doesn't know why they are all complaining, because they did all of this to themselves. He stated that he blames the NFLPA for failing the players.

Steelers union player rep Ryan Clark must feel like a prophet of sorts as he warned about the power that Goodell would hold moving forward. Clark summed it up back in early August of last year why the Steelers as a team would likely vote against ratifying the CBA. "With Roger Goodell having total control over the fine process, that's a deal-breaker for us in this situation." Clark also added, "We feel like someone else should be on there," as he talked about the appeals and disciplinary process. "There should be some ... type of way -- actually someone who's not on the NFL payroll. A big issue, for us, especially, as a team, is Roger Goodell ... being judge, jury and appeals system."

Corbett also heard from Arizona Cardinals kicker Jay Feely, the team’s union rep, via a text to say that the issue wasn’t considered a deal-breaker at the time. "Yes, the players wish he didn’t have that power, but it wasn’t worth sacrificing CBA [over]," Feely said.

Perhaps it should have been, but it appears to be too late now. Other players and reps may have thought that Clark was over the top with his thinking at the time because of all of the discipline the Steelers as a team had received over the last few years. The NFLPA had a model case of the power that Goodell had right in front of them, but they, as a group, chose to ignore it.

I am not saying what the Saints players did is right as the evidence seems overwhelmingly against them. Regardless of what is real and what is false, I bet all involved wish there was a third party to rule on it and handle the discipline.

One thing is for certain. Whatever happens moving forward over these next 9 years, the NFLPA can't say that Clark and the Steelers didn't try to warn them.

http://network.yardbarker.com/nfl/ar...odell/11044709
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Old 06-19-2012, 06:45 PM   #30
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Default Re: Jonathan Vilma sues Roger Goodell

Ornstein denies telling NFL that Vilma offered money

Posted by Mike Florio on June 19, 2012



And the craziness continues.

On Monday, NFL outside counsel Mary Jo White said at the bounty appeal hearing that Mike Ornstein corroborated the claim that Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma offered $10,000 to anyone who knocked Vikings quarterback Brett Favre out of the 2009 NFC title game, and that Vilma offered $10,000 to anyone who knocked Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner out of the 2009 NFC divisional-round playoff game.

The only problem with that? Ornstein tells PFT that he never said what the NFL now claims he said.

“I never corroborated $10,000,” Ornstein said. “The only thing that I told them was that we had the [pregame] meeting, we jumped around, we screamed around, and I never saw [Vilma] offer one dime. And I never heard him say it.”

Ornstein admits that the Saints had a pay-for-performance program in 2009, but he repeatedly denied that he told the NFL that Vilma offered any money knocking any player out of any game.

“Did I say to the league that I saw Jonathan Vilma offer $10,000?” Ornstein said. “Absolutely not.”

I asked Ornstein the question several different ways, to ensure there was no ambiguity. He consistently and repeatedly (and at times profanely) denied ever telling the NFL that Vilma offered money to anyone who knocked Favre and/or Warner out of the 2009 playoff games.

It’s unclear what, if any, impact this has on the broader bounty case, other than to call into serious question the validity of the league’s reliance on Ornstein as proof that Vilma offered money to anyone, for anything. Though there’s a chance Ornstein is lying now, there’s also a chance he was lying then, and given his history of legal entanglements, the league may have badly erred by using him to support any aspect of the bounty case.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com...offered-money/
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