Can one man be both judge and jury in a matter that some NFL players feel should be presented to a panel of former players? The NFLPA, the players union, has maintained that the charges in the bounty scandal are based on evidence that has not been released. But the NFL has been releasing information recently that clearly points to an established system of payoffs for hard hits in the Saints camp. It appears to some of YouWager’s NFL football wagering fans that when all is said and done, the sports betting public may be the jury. Both sides have attempted to release information to the press that might help their cause in the last few weeks. Audio recordings released by a film maker, and talk of an actual ledger, detailing payouts for brutal hits, at a time when the NFL is being hit with thousands of lawsuits for head-related injuries, may settle the matter once and for all. After all of the lawyers are paid, some cynical sportsbook bettors say.
Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the National Football League, will hear the appeals of the four players that were suspended in the Saints bounty-for-injuries scandal on June 18, according to a YouWager news source connected to the current legal circumstances surrounding the investigation of the bounty system allegedly run by the New Orleans Saints.
The hearing on this date, will be the first meeting, YouWager’s source says, between the suspended NFL players and commissioner Goodell since the announcement that these players would be suspended for playing active roles in the bounty program within the NFL club. This will also mean a public confrontation between Goodell and New Orleans player Jonathan Vilma. The Saints linebacker has sued the commissioner for defamation of character.
For his leadership role in the bounty scheme, which apparently offered cash payoffs to reward aggressive defensive players for injuring opponents, Jonathan Vilma was suspended for the entire 2012 NFL football betting season. Will Smith, a defensive end for the Saints, was suspended for four games. Scott Fujita, and former Saints linebacker, now playing for the Cleveland Browns, was suspended three games. Anthony Hargrove, a defensive lineman now employed by the Green Bay Packers, got an eight-game ban.
Each of the NFL players have publicly denied that they paid into or received cash bonuses in the pay-to-injure program, and they have asked the league to release the evidence that links them to any payments. These players all refused to meet with NFL investigators before the punishments were announced.
The NFLPA, the NFL Players Association, filed two grievances that challenged Goodells jurisdiction in the ruling against the players as well as the hearing for their appeals. The ruling in one of the grievances endorsed Goodells authority and will be appealed by the NFLPA. As yet, no ruling has been made on the other complaint.
The players are hoping, an NFL wagering analyst at YouWager explains, that appeals might ultimately provide a reduction or modify the suspensions. The NFL has not given in at any point, insisting it has hard evidence against the players, who were punished for prominent roles in the bounty program.
Former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, who ran the program for the franchise, from 2009 to 2011, has been suspended indefinitely by the league. The league also suspended Saints head coach Sean Payton for one entire year. General manager Mickey Loomis will sit out eight games, and assistant head coach Joe Vitt is suspended for six games. NFL Commissioner Goodell has until July 5 to respond to Vilmas lawsuit.