NFL Lifts Suspensions in Saints Bounty Scandal
All 4 players' suspensions overturned
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Dec 11, 2012 2:04 PM CST
In this Nov. 30, 2012, file photo, New Orleans Saints football defensive end Will Smith, left, and linebacker Jonathan Vilma arrive at an attorney's office in Washington, for a hearing on their appeals.   (Cliff Owen)

(Newser) – Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue has overturned the suspensions of four current and former New Orleans Saints players in the league's bounty investigation of the club. Tagliabue, however, found that three of the players engaged in conduct detrimental to the league. He said they participated in a performance pool that rewarded key plays—including hard tackles—that could merit fines. But he stressed that the team's coaches were very much involved. Tagliabue was appointed by his successor, Commissioner Roger Goodell, to handle a second round of player appeals to the league in connection with the Saints' cash-for-hits program run by former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams from 2009-2011.

Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma had been given a full-season suspension, while defensive end Will Smith, Cleveland linebacker Scott Fujita, and free agent defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove each received shorter suspensions. Fujita was the only player cleared of conduct detrimental to the league by Tagliabue. None of the players sat out any games because of suspensions. They have been allowed to play while appeals are pending, though Fujita is on injured reserve and Hargrove is not with a team.

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Showing 3 of 4 comments
DougMasters
Dec 12, 2012 7:50 AM CST
Ok so we have a lot of sportsman who have a fairly high percentage of regular rapists, murderers, asswhoopers, dog killing tax evading self leg shooting rain making bathroom blocking vehicular manslaughtering assholes. This grouping, to save typing time will from here on out be referred to as degenerates. These degenerates do the one thing they are paid to do, hit people with all the power their obese/muscular legs and arms and midsection can muster. And we punish them for that? We barely touch the guy who blocked off a restroom with a woman inside of it but we suspend dudes who hit dudes in a game in which they are supposed to hit dudes..... cash bonuses for big hits. Now you have ZERO proof other than circumstancial nothing you refuse to share that they were paid extra for intentionally injuring someone ( look, their regular pay motivates them to injur someone ) and you suspend them but you have MOUNTAINS of proof that the other actual degenerates are... degenerates. I aint gonna complain about the double standard. Truth be told the idea of double standards aren't a bad thing all the time. In fact I like some of them. But I will point and laugh at you when your double standard makes you look like a moron.
trailmix
Dec 11, 2012 5:44 PM CST
This move is sure to be a deterrent to unsportsmanlike conduct.
pg13
Dec 11, 2012 5:29 PM CST
Go back to your usual thuggery, murders, drunk driving, etc., pro athletes.