Arbitrator confirms Goodell's authority to discipline Hargrove for bounties program
NEW YORK, N.Y. - An arbitrator ruled Monday that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has the authority to discipline former Saints defensive end Anthony Hargrove for the New Orleans bounties program.
University of Pennsylvania professor Stephen Burbank reserved judgment last week on Hargrove's case until the NFL provided more information why the player, now with Green Bay, was suspended for eight games. But Burbank now has ruled that he has no jurisdiction over Hargrove, either.
Burbank cites a letter from the NFL that attributes "the vast majority of (Hargrove's) eight-game suspension to lying ... and obstruction." The balance of evidence pertains to his "active participation in the program by pledging and contributing money to the pool."
Hargrove, Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma and DE Will Smith, and linebacker Scott Fujita, now with Cleveland, appealed their suspensions and will appear before Goodell next Monday.
Goodell suspended Vilma for the entire 2012 season and Smith for four games. Fujita was docked three games.
Vilma also has sued Goodell for defamation in a U.S. District Court in New Orleans and Goodell has been given until July 5 to respond to the action.