Shyam Das ruled in favor of the NFL on Friday, upholding the authority of
Roger Goodell to discipline players after the union had sought to have appeals
in the case heard by someone other than the commissioner.
It followed a ruling Monday by Stephen Burbank saying Goodell had authority to
suspend four players for their roles in the bounty system.
The NFLPA had claimed the league waived its right to impose discipline on
players for conduct occurring prior to the signing of the latest Collective
Bargaining Agreement last August.
Players wanted Ted Cotrell and Art Shell to be part of the process because
they were appointed by the league and union to review appeals for on-field
But Das dismissed the grievance, saying the provision waiver the union was
relying on didn't constitute an agreement that Goodell relinquished his
authority to discipline players for conduct occurring prior to the signing of
the CBA on Aug. 4.
Goodell suspended Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma for the 2012 season,
current Green Bay defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove for eight games, Saints
defensive end Will Smith for four games and linebacker Scott Fujita, now with
Cleveland, for three games.
All four players have appealed the suspensions. Their hearings will proceed on
June 18, according to NFL spokesman Greg Aiello.