Personal notes on Aug 10th hearing for New Orleans Saints Jonathan Vilma

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Berrigan states she does not believe RG had the authority to hear this matter under Article 14.  NFLPA states RG does not have the authority to suspend a player, only to fine him under Article 14.   Based on this, NFLPA argues Judge can rule to vacate suspensions because RG exceeded his CBA powers.

As for the players’ hearing itself, NFLPA contends industrial due process was ignored (1) players could not confront accusers (2) no exculpatory evidence allowed such as testimony by Vitt and players the $10,000 cash offer did not happen (3) not all documents provided [some were news stories after the suspensions were meted out] and (4) no review of management’s fault (Saints) to ameliorate the pay for performance program.  CBA does not provide for fundamental unfairness nor can it supersede decency.

The thrust of the NFLPA’s arguments are that Berrigan can rule and does not need to wait for Aug 30th hearing on Burbank matter.  She has de novo power and does not need to defer to RG.  She can appoint a new arbitrator to decide case.

NFL argues Berrigan must wait for Burbank appeals process before any ruling.  RG has been given authority under the CBA.  There are no standards RG must adhere to in providing evidence.  No procedures are inherent in the CBA, and NFLPA is now having second thoughts.

RG’s logic on Article 46 is sound.  And public statements do not indicate partiality.  RG was ready to decide on all at same time as coaches’ suspensions but NFLPA asked them for time to investigate.  NFL argues Berrigan does not have jurisdiction to which she replies Levy makes her sound helpless.

NLF argues players did not participate in appeals process.  Berrigan makes it clear she believes they did; and if they had argued their case before RG on appeal, they would have lost their jurisdictional grounds for vacating the suspensions.

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Tags: Greg Levy Jeffrey Kessler Jonathan Vilma Judge Berrigan New Orleans Saints NFL NFLPA Peter Ginsberg Saints Bounty

  • louisianakid1954

    The NFL commissioner may have made the wrong step that might cost him some money are his job. A man like this that think he’s the man with all power to call himself the Judge, Jury, and persecuter. This power went to his head he loss respect for his fellowmens that he eat with and fellowship with but still throw dirt on them. I hope the best for the coaches, General Manger, players, that they can come back to their groups and do they jobs.