Saints Suspensions Change
Published: Thursday, October 11, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 13:10
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has spoken. The suspensions of Scott Fujita and Anthony Hargrove, two out of the four players affiliated in the bounty scandal, have been reduced while linebacker Jonathan Vilma and defensive end Will Smith suspensions resulted in no change.
Cleveland Browns linebacker, Scott Fujita's suspension has been reduced from three games to one while free agent defensive tackle Anthony Hargrove's suspension has been reduced one game, from eight to seven.
The suspensions of Jonathan Vilma and Will Smith remain unchanged. Will Smith will now serve his four game suspension. Vilma received the harshest penalty, a one-year suspension. Both players must now choose to acquiesce Goodell’s ruling or appeal it. All four players have 72 days to begin the appeal process.
Before this second ruling, Vilma filed two lawsuits against the NFL; one for defamation and the other for making an untimely ruling on the suspensions. Soon after news dropped of the final decision, Vilma went to Twitter to voice his sentiments.
“This is not news to me pride won’t let him admit he’s wrong.”
The NFLPA also had something to say about the matter.
“The only evidence that exists is the league's gross violation of fair due process, transparency and impartiality during this process. Truth and fairness have been the casualties of the league's refusal to admit that it might have made a mistake."
Goodell was direct in his response.
“The players confirmed many of the key facts disclosed in our investigation, most particularly that the program offered cash rewards for 'cart-offs,' that players were encouraged to 'crank up the John Deere tractor' and have their opponents carted off the field, and that rewards were offered and paid for plays that resulted in opposing players having to leave the field of play.
While the approach that Goodell is taking in terms of this decision seems harsh, all of the players put themselves in this position. Every player had the opportunity to speak to the commissioner and clear the air upon their reversed suspensions. In his statement, Goodell clearly stated that from the meetings with the players, he received enough information to incriminate them of the existence of a bounty system.
This tells me that these four players weren’t sufficiently prepared. It is important to understand that this is the COMMISSIONER OF THE NFL! If you are going to meet with him, you better go in with a game plan on how not incriminate yourself. This tell me that you were somewhat guilty, apart of the bounty scandal and your conscious finally caught up to you.
After all of the bloviating about you being innocent you go and give him information that shows you were guilty the entire time? Idiots!
Now, that’s just the players. Roger Goodell is not off the hook either. While his suspensions, in my opinion are justified, why reduce the suspensions of only Fujita and Hargrove? Last I checked, all four of them met with you and gave you enough information.
This is my only issue with how the commissioner is handling the situation. There simply is no transparency. Just because you’re running the show doesn’t mean you have the right to commit acts and not explain yourself. We need more facts.
I just don’t trust the guy and neither do the players. Can’t say I blame them.