NFL to Allow Fujita et al to Appeal Bounty-based Suspension

Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita and other players involved in the ongoing New Orleans Saints’ bounty program investigation will get their chance to appeal suspensions handed down by the NFL. Per reports, the league has set a June 18 date for Fujita, along with linebacker Jonathan Vilma and defensive ends Anthony Hargrove and Will Smith, to state their case in regard to their suspensions of of varying sizes and fines of varying amounts.

The players and the NFL Players Association have fought back, stating that league Commissioner Roger Goodell lacks the authority to suspend/fine players for activities that occurred before the new collective bargaining agreement was signed prior to the start of the 2011 season. Earlier this week, the suspended players saw an arbitrator reject the NFLPA’s other grievance, ruling Goodell was in his power.

Filmmaker Sean Pamphilon recently released a chronicle of text messages between he and Fujita, furthering the veteran linebacker’s involvement in the case. On Wednesday, reports ciruculated that Saints players Roman Harper and Jo-Lonn Dunbar each received cash payments for their involvement in plays that took place in a past playoff win over the Detroit Lions.

[Related: Pat Shurmur and the Burden of Proof]

  • So they will be permitted to appeal a decision with the individual who made the original decision.

    Seems fair.

    Note:  I think this bounty thing was super wrong and they deserve some punishment.  But, I also think that this system is ridiculous.

  • mgbode

    if Fujita wasn’t one of the main voices of the NFLPA during the negotations, then I would agree with you.  I mean, I agree the system is ridiculous, but Fujita is one of the main people who agreed to put it in place.

  • There is an irony there, I agree.  I am thinking more big picture, i.e., looking at the system in general.

    If I fight a traffic ticket, sure the officer who gave it to me has to show up, but there is a judge/magistrate there to give an “objective” opinion/ruling.

    At least that is how its supposed to work.