Federal Judge Orders Roger Goodell to Hand Over Saints Bounty Documents
The ruling made by Magistrate Daniel Knowles comes following Jonathan Vilma‘s attempts to expose the investigation and discovery process which the league used in determining that the Saints were in violation of certain league policies which made several of their players, coaches and even general manager eligible for suspension. Knowles issued a compromise order which will allow the court to see the documents including interviews with witness who have knowledge of the alleged Saints bounty system.
On Monday, Vilma re-filed a lawsuit in the same New Orleans court in which he asked for his season-long suspension to be overturned. The lawsuit also iterates the league’s non-compliance with disclosing what the evidence is that they have involving the bounty scandal and also how they obtained the information. The NFLPA has also filled a similar lawsuit on the behalves of the other three players (Will Smith, Scott Fujita and Anthony Hargrove) who were suspended by the league.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello has said that NFL officials have already spoken with Magistrate Knowles and that have agreed to comply with the court completely.
The four players have also filled for an appeal of the suspension and those hearings will be held on October 23 and a decision by Goodell should be reached not long after. The players are hoping that the Magistrate Knowles will block any ruling made by Goodell and allow a neutral arbitrator to handle any decisions regarding the discipline for the situation.
Meanwhile Monday, Vilma was activated by the Saints from the physical unable to play list and will compete versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.