The ordeal of Saints four and Bounty Gate may never come to an end.
A few weeks back, a court overturned the suspensions of the four players suspected in the case.
A few days after that, Commissioner Roger Goodell subsequently re-issued those punishment.
NFL.com is reporting that in past few hours, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has recused himself from the case, and appointed former Commissioner Paul Tagliabue as the new hearing officer to decide the appeals, and bring the matter to a fair conclusion.
According to the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, the Commissioner has exclusive authority to hear appeals of suspension or detrimental conduct.
Goodell and NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith met several times to discuss the matter before Goodell came to a decision.
I have held two hearings to date,” Commissioner Goodell said, “and have modified the discipline in several respects based on my recent meetings with the players. To bring this matter to a prompt and fair conclusion, I have appointed former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue to serve as the hearing officer for the upcoming appeals. Paul Tagliabue is a genuine football authority whose tenure as commissioner was marked by his thorough and judicious approach to all matters. He has many years of experience in NFL collective bargaining matters and an impeccable reputation for integrity.
“To be clear, I have not consulted with Paul Tagliabue at any point about the Saints matter nor has he been any part of the process. Furthermore, under our process the hearing officer has full authority and complete independence to decide the appeal and determine any procedural issues regarding the hearings. I will have no role in the upcoming hearings or in Mr. Tagliabue’s decisions.”
Tagliabue who was the Commissioner of the NFL from 1989-2006 will conduct hearings for the four players on October 30.
Tagliabue is an attorney, and chairman of the Georgetown University Board of Directors.
The concern now will be how fair of a process will these four players get from the guy who was once Roger Goodell’s boss.
New problems, same issue.