NPR : News

Filed Under:

NFL Players' 'Bountygate' Suspensions Vacated

The four NFL players who were fined and given multi-game suspensions for their alleged parts in the New Orleans Saints' "bountygate" scheme that paid bonuses for injuring opposing players have had their punishments vacated, the league says.

According to NFL.com, "former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, who was appointed to handle a second round of player appeals to the league, made the ruling." He "affirmed" the findings about the bountygate scheme, but said the cases against the players had been "contaminated":

"Unlike [the] Saints' broad organizational misconduct, player appeals involve sharply focused issues of alleged individual player misconduct in several different aspects," Tagliabue said in a statement released by the league. "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."

The players are linebacker Jonathan Vilma, defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove, defensive lineman Will Smith and linebacker Scott Fujita. NFL.com adds that:

"The players have been allowed to play while appeals are pending, though Fujita is on injured reserve and Hargrove is not with a team. Shortly before the regular season, the initial suspensions were vacated by an appeal panel created by the league's collective bargaining agreement. [NFL Commissioner Roger] Goodell then reissued them with some modifications. Meanwhile, the players have challenged the NFL's handling of the entire process in federal court."

Fujita is now with the Cleveland Browns.

Tagliabue's decision does not affect the punishments given to Saints head coach Sean Payton (one year's suspension) or former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams (suspended indefinitely).

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

'Captain America: Civil War' Captures Politics Of The Moment

The Marvel Cinematic Universe's new movie, Captain America: Civil War, opens Friday. As a character, Captain America has long responded to the politics of the time and this movie is no different.
NPR

Why This Seattle Chef Is Embracing A Higher Minimum Wage For Employees

Small businesses in Seattle have to pay a minimum of $15 an hour starting in 2021. But chef Renee Erickson has adopted higher pay for employees of her restaurant group ahead of schedule.
NPR

Jeb Bush Won't Vote For Trump: 'I Cannot Support His Candidacy'

Trump's former 2016 presidential rivals Jeb Bush and Lindsey Graham both said Friday they cannot support their party's de facto White House nominee.
NPR

Job Growth Might Be Slowing Overall — But It's Surging For New College Grads

Congratulations to the Class of 2016! They are graduating into the best job market in a decade, especially for those with degrees in business, technology or engineering.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.