(NEW ORLEANS) — NFL commissioner Roger Goodell denied the appeals of four suspended players in the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal Tuesday.
In a letter sent to Jonathan Vilma, Anthony Hargrove, Will Smith and Scott Fujita, Goodell wrote “Throughout this entire process, including your appeals, and despite repeated invitations and encouragement to do so, none of you has offered any evidence that would warrant reconsideration of your suspensions. Instead, you elected not to participate meaningfully in the appeal process…”
Vilma is suspended for the entire 2012 season, while Smith received a four-game ban. Hargrove, now with the Green Bay Packers, received an eight-game suspension, while Fujita, now with the Cleveland Browns, will sit three games.
The NFL Players Association reacted to the news in a statement issued Tuesday.
“The players are disappointed with the League’s conduct during this process,” the NFLPA said. “We reiterate our concerns about the lack of fair due process, lack of integrity of the investigation and lack of the jurisdictional authority to impose discipline under the collective bargaining agreement. Moreover, the Commissioner took actions during this process that rendered it impossible for him to be an impartial arbitrator.”
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