The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


June 18, 2012

Goodell hears bounty appeals from players

NEW YORK — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has finished hearing appeals from four players in the Saints bounty case, amid complaints that the process is unfair and the league didn’t prove anything.

Goodell met Monday at NFL headquarters with Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, who is suspended for the 2012 season, and defensive end Will Smith, who has been docked for four games; Green Bay defensive end Anthony Hargrove, suspended for eight games; and Cleveland linebacker Scott Fujita (three games).

Vilma left first, after about an hour-long session in the morning.

The linebacker’s attorney, Peter Ginsberg, said the NFL requested an adjournment to Monday afternoon, but he and Vilma refused. Ginsberg called the hearing “a sham” and said Goodell failed to present the evidence on which he based his decision to impose Vilma’s season-long suspension.


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