|05-09-2012, 02:06 PM||#1|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: London, ON
The CBA and the Saints bounty scandal
There is a general consensus amongst media and independent nfl reporters than the NFL should release any and all evidence against the Saints players and should have done so prior to handing out suspensions - I have done some digging into the CBA which is the document governing the NFLs interaction with the players, which provides a framework agreed upon by both sides for how punishment is handed out.
The relevant article is number 46 as long as the matter is not considered a salary cap violation. The relevant language with my interpretation is:
As we can see here, the standard procedure is that the Commissioner upon deciding punishment must promptly in writing inform the players and NFLPA.
Goodell is expected to invoke the notwithstanding clause to appear as hearing officer at the appeal, which as long as the behaviour is deemed to not be on-field unsportsmanlike conduct or unnecesary roughness is in accordance with the CBA.
Vilma and his lawyer are making a big deal of this, but frankly they don't seem to have a leg to stand on, if the NFL releases the evidence no less than 3 days before the scheduled appeal hearing they are entitled to use all the evidence at the hearing.
I believe there is one important question of principle nature to be answered - was the infraction purely an off-field issue, offering money for injuries and hits or is part of the infraction the actual attempts to injure and should be considered a salary cap violation or conduct detrimental to the integrity of the game?
The NFL would dearly like to make it all off-field, that way Goodell can serve as appeals hearing officer. If it is a salary cap issue, then a independent master will chair the arbitration hearing, however if it is only deemed conduct detrimental to the integrity of the game it falls under Goodell's territory.
I assume the players will go the starcaps/DJ Williams way and file a federal suit to obtain an injunction against the suspensions pending litigation - all the players involved are over 30 I believe, and if they could win 2 years worth of injunctions they would probably be able to retire before sitting out with a suspension.
Personally I believe the CBA is clear enough on this issue, the players have agreed to the CBA very recently, knowing that in cases like these Goodell would be able to hear appeals against his judgement - they did put in language in cases of on-field behaviour to be heard by independent parties but failed to extend that to all suspensions.
|05-09-2012, 08:06 PM||#2|
Good summary. The only thing I think is clear (others disagree) is that it is not an on-field issue at hand. What it falls under, what punishments are appropriate, etc. are still iffy but I just don't see how it can be argued as an on-field issue is mind boggling.