(NEW ORLEANS) — Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue has vacated the suspensions of four current and former members of the New Orleans Saints as a result of the NFL’s bounty investigation.
Earlier in the year, the NFL suspended Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith, Scott Fujita, and Anthony Hargrove for their supposed role in the team’s bounty program under former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams.
A series of lawsuits put together by Vilma and the NFL Player’s Association challenged commissioner Roger Goodell’s ruling. In a show of good faith, Goodell appointed Tagliabue as an arbitrator in the ruling. That move turned out to be a victory for the players.
“We respect Mr. Tagilabue’s decision, which underscores the due process afforded players in NFL disciplinary manners. This matter has now been reviewed by Commissioner Goodell, two CBA grievance arbitrators, the CBA Appeals Pannel, and Mr. Tagilabue as Commissioner Goodell’s designated appeals officer,” the NFL said in a statement.
Only the player’s suspensions were vacated as a result of this process.
Head coach Sean Payton was suspended for the entire 2012 season, general manager Mickey Loomis was suspended for the first eight games of the season, and assistant head coach Joe Vitt was suspended the first six games of the season.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
John Newsome and Anne Woolsey, CNN