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Tagliabue & Neutrality

October 23, 2012 by  

Tagliabue & Neutrality, The NFL Players Association has sent former commissioner Paul Tagliabue a letter asking him to address potential conflicts of interest he might have as the appeals officer in the Saints’ bounty case. The union asks Tagliabue in the letter to address its concerns within one day or it will file a formal request that he recuse himself from the case. The letter reportedly was sent Monday.

The letter is a precursor to a possible court filing by the NFLPA raising similar objections to Tagliabue hearing the players’ appeals in the Saints’ bounty case. As much as the union respects Tagliabue, it’s not exactly the conflict-free review or appeal of the matter the union had envisioned.

The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune reported Tuesday that Judge Ginger Berrigan from the U.S. District Court in New Orleans has given the NFLPA until 6 p.m. ET Wednesday to file a motion asking Tagliabue recuse himself from hearing the players’ appeals. According to Sports Business Daily, the calendar for the court to hear motions runs through next Monday — therefore creating a scenario where Tagliabue could spend the rest of the week and weekend preparing himself for the hearing, only to be removed by a court ruling before next Tuesday’s hearing.

Sources told ESPN NFL Insider Ed Werder the NFLPA will file a motion to have Taglaibue recuse himself by that deadline.

Unless he relents and withdraws, Tagliabue likely will preside at the appeals hearing of Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith, Scott Fujita and Anthony Hargrove on Oct. 30. But if dissatisfied by the ruling, according to sources, the players could hope the decision would be nullified by a Berrigan ruling that Tagliabue should have recused himself previously as requested.

He was appointed Friday when Roger Goodell, his successor as commissioner, recused himself.

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