Roger Goodell Won’t Hear Appeals of Four Saints Players

National Sports

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will not hear the appeals of four Saints players involved in the bounty scandal, the NFL confirmed Friday.

Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue will conduct the hearings of Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith, Anthony Hargrove, and Scott Fujita on Oct. 30.

“I have held two hearings to date,” 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,” he continued.

The Saints will take on the Buccaneers in Tampa on Sunday.

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