Friday, September 7, 2012

Godfather Goodell Gets Taken To The Mattresses In Saints Bounty Case

Looks like the Godfather was made an offer he couldn't refuse. Actually, he had no other choice.

Per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk on Friday, the Bounty Gate suspensions were overturned by the internal appeals panel, not a judicial court ruling. Richard J. Howell, on behalf of that three-person panel, points out that the case now has been given back to Roger Goodell. 

They decided that it’s unclear that the suspensions imposed by Goodell fall within his jurisdiction, and not the jurisdiction of the “System Arbitrator." 

“While we agree, then, that the Commissioner had jurisdiction to discipline the Players in this case, we are uncertain that the discipline handed down was attributable, in any part, to that aspect of the Program which lies within the exclusive jurisdiction of the System Arbitrator."

Howell continued, “While we could speculate, it is not clear from the record before us whether had the distinction we draw in mind at the time he disciplined the players.”

This basically means that the suspensions are voided and that Godfather Goodell doesn't have jurisdiction and, Barzini, rather, Stephen Burbank does. So, for now, as was said earlier, this is now back in the hands of Goodell. 

Just when he thinks he's out, they drag him back in!

This isn't necessarily a victory for Saints. It just means that the arbitration panel, i.e. the five families, decided that more specific evidence needs to be provided and it may more directly be under the purview of the System Arbitrator. So, the players will be in uniform opening weekend. The ruling means nothing, though, to Sean Payton, Mickey Loomis, Joe Vitt, and Gregg Williams. It doesn't affect them at all. -

As Adam Schefter said, "With Saints suspensions overturned, players are eligible to play this weekend. Talk about a can of worms being opened on eve of 2012 season.

Exactly. How is Goodell supposed to continue to work toward more balanced adjudications when his rulings can be countered because a lawyer(s) can fail "to properly draw the lines when drawing up the penalties?" This is good for Saints P.R., but not for NFL perception. - 

A bottom line statement was provided by Schefter when he stated, the "Appeals Panel vacated suspensions and directed Commissioner to make "an expeditious re-determination" of discipline for conduct detrimental. Until Commissioner does that, the players are reinstated and eligible to play." -

This isn't the end of the Bounty Gate suspension fiasco. The panel didn’t make any determinations as to whether or not there was a bounty program and who may have participated. New and/or more specific evidence needs to be provided and then the players should still see some much deserved downtime. -

So, Goodell still has time to settle all family business.