The NFL announced Tuesday afternoon that after further review (wink, wink) they've decided to uphold the suspensions on Scott Fujita, Anthony Hargrove, Will Smith and Jonathan Vilma for taking part in the much discussed bounty program alleged to have taken place while they all were players on the New Orleans Saints.
You can read the Press Release from the NFL RIGHT HERE
The commish (Jolly Roger himself) said; “Throughout this entire process, including your appeals, and despite repeated invitations andencouragement 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…”
Goodell added; “Although you claimed to have been ‘wrongfully accused with insufficient evidence,’ your lawyers elected not to ask a single question of the principal investigators, both of whom were present at the hearing (as your lawyers had requested); you elected not to testify or to make any substantive statement, written or oral, in support of your appeal; you elected not to call a
single witness to support your appeal; and you elected not to introduce a single exhibit
addressing the merits of your appeal. Instead, your lawyers raised a series of jurisdictional and
procedural objections that generally ignore the CBA, in particular its provisions governing
‘conduct detrimental’ determinations…”
Essentially the commish is calling them all out, including Vilma, who is currently suing him in Lousiana Federal Court and saying "Prove to me I'm wrong". Fujita (now with the Browns) is supposed to sit 3 games, Hargrove (Packers) is docked 8 games, Smith (Saints) four games and Vilma is benched for 2012.
We know Fujita has said "I had nothing to do with it" and Hargrove is now denying that his voice is the one heard agreeing to be paid for his participation.
Goodell is putting the players, who have been on a PR offensive on the defensive here. Let's see how they respond.
Here's the NFLPA's response in the interest of equal quotation...