NFL Commissioner Re-Issues Bounty Punishments

4:19 PM, Oct 9, 2012   |    comments
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New York, NY (CBS) -- A month since an appeals panel temporarily overturned Roger Goodell's suspensions of the four players involved in the Saints bounty, the NFL commissioner reissued his decision Tuesday.

Linebacker Jonathan Vilma remains suspended for the season, defensive end Will Smith remains suspended for four games, linebacker Scott Fujita's suspension was reduced to one game (it was originally three), and Anothony Hargrove's suspension was reduced to seven games (it was originally eight).

"In my recent meetings with the players and their counsel, the players addressed the allegations and had an opportunity to tell their side of the story," Goodell wrote in his decision.

"In those meetings, the players confirmed many of the key facts disclosed in our investigation, most particularly that the program offered cash rewards for 'cart-offs,' that players were encouraged to 'crank up the John Deere tractor' and have their opponents carted off the field, and that rewards were offered and paid for plays that resulted in opposing players having to leave the field of play."

The NFL Players Association issued the following response to Goodell's latest ruling:

"For more than six months, the NFL has ignored the facts, abused the process outlined in our collective bargaining agreement and failed to produce evidence that the players intended to injure anyone, ever. The only evidence that exists is the League's gross violation of fair due process, transparency and impartiality during this process. Truth and fairness have been the casualties of the league's refusal to admit that it might have made a mistake. We will review this decision thoroughly and review all options to protect our players' rights with vigilance."

Vilma and Smith are currently on the Saints' roster while Fujita plays for the Browns and Hargrove is a free agent. 

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