Tagliabue postpones bounty scheme hearing
WASHINGTON - An appeals hearing scheduled for Tuesday in the NFL bounty scheme scandal has been postponed by former league commissioner Paul Tagliabue, the NFL announced on Saturday.
Tagliabue made the decision to postpone the hearing in Washington as Hurricane Sandy, a killer storm that ripped through the Caribbean, was bearing down upon the US East coast. No new date was immediately set.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell appointed Tagliabue to hear the appeals by four players of their bans in the New Orleans Saints payoffs-for-injuries scheme after the NFL players union asked Goodell to recuse himself in the case.
The players union has filed a motion in a New Orleans court to have Tagliabue recused from the matter as well but legal filings will continue on that effort until Monday before any decision will be handed down.
Goodell handed down penalties for the players in May that were overturned by an appeal panel last month, prompting Goodell to reissue the punishments with some revisions.
Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma and defensive end Will Smith will play this weekend as their appeal continues. Goodell handed Vilma a full-season ban while Smith was given a four-game suspension.
Cleveland Browns linebacker Scott Fujita, banned for one game, is on injured reserve while defensive end Anthony Hargrove, a free agent, was banned for seven games.
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