|Arbitrator Rules Against Players in Bounty Case|
by The Sports Xchange of PackerReport.com, June 8, 2012 at 11:00 pm ET
Anthony Hargrove Profile
Arbitrator Shyam Das ruled against the NFLPA, dismissing a second grievance by the players' association related to the Saints' bounty case.
NFL spokesman Greg Aiello made the announcement via Twitter.
"Arbitrator Shyam Das has ruled in NFL's favor and dismissed NFLPA's grievance in bounty case," Aiello wrote.
After multiple pleas challenging the power of commissioner Roger Goodell, it's now up to Goodell himself to give a final verdict on suspensions for players involved in the Saints' pay-for-performance program. Goodell is scheduled to hear all player appeals on June 18.
Friday's decision by Das was the second ruling in favor of the NFL. The NFLPA challenged Goodell's authority to suspend players for actions that had taken place prior to the implementation of the current salary cap. The NFLPA argued on the players' behalf but suspensions are likely to be upheld for linebacker Jonathan Vilma, Anthony Hargrove, Scott Fujita and Will Smith.
Special master Stephen Burbank ruled on the May 30 grievance. The argument there is that, even if New Orleans players were paid a bounty, the violation is against the salary cap, and, under the tenets of the CBA, Burbank has jurisdiction.
Das, who has served as an NFL arbitrator since 2004, was canned last week by MLB, where he had also presided over appeals cases since 1999. While baseball officials have stopped short of fully explaining the rationale for the dismissal, it's believed the action was tied to Das' controversial decision to overturn the 50-game suspension of Milwaukee outfielder Ryan Braun, the National League's reigning most valuable player.