NFL

NFL opposes Vilma's hearing request

Share This Story

   
 

NEW ORLEANS (AP)

The NFL has opposed Jonathan Vilma's request for an expedited hearing as he attempts to delay or overturn his season-long suspension.

Tuesday's motion filed in U.S. District Court in Louisiana claims that the New Orleans Saints linebacker did not ''exhaust the dispute resolution procedures'' in the collective bargaining agreement. Vilma was suspended by Commissioner Roger Goodell for his role in the team's bounty program and has since sought a restraining order. He also has sued Goodell for defamation.

Vilma and the other three players suspended - Saints defensive end Will Smith, current Packers DE Anthony Hargrove and current Browns LB Scott Fujita - did not defend themselves at their appeals hearing before Goodell last month. Goodell then upheld the suspensions.

Saints coach Sean Payton, like Vilma, is suspended for the 2012 season.

The NFL also says Vilma is incorrect in stating he can't have the Saints' medical staff monitor and guide his rehabilitation. He can, as long as it is at a private facility and not at the team's training complex.

Interim coach Joe Vitt, who will serve a six-game suspension when the season begins, filed an affidavit Tuesday with the court in support of Vilma's request. Vitt, who did not fight his suspension imposed by Goodell, also called the bounty program ''nonexistent'' in the affidavit.

Vitt said he wanted ''to refute that the Saints ever had a bounty program or that any member of our defense, including Mr. Vilma, ever placed a bounty on an opposing player or set out to injure anyone or to encourage any other Saints player to injure anyone.''

On Monday, Vilma's attorneys ask U.S. District Judge Helen ''Ginger'' Berrigan to hear their request for a temporary restraining order before the Saints' training camp opens July 24.

Berrigan has not ruled on Vilma's hearing request.

Tagged: Saints, Jonathan Vilma

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by


NFL Videos

Best Person in Sports: Keenan Lewis Posted: Jul 15, 2014
Saints CB Keenan Lewis hosts a back-to-school event, giving children medical ser...

NFL Roundtable: New York Jets Posted: Jul 14, 2014
They're a team with plenty to prove and a roster of players primed to get it don...

NFL Roundtable: Detroit Lions Posted: Jul 11, 2014
A team with so many weapons, is this the season that the Lions put together and ...