Saints' Bounty Hearing with Paul Tagliabue Postponed Due to Weather

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistOctober 27, 2012

NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue claps as Roger Goodell is introduced to NFL owners as the league's  new head at an owners meeting  in suburban Chicago August 8, 2006.  Tagliabue is retiring.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images

As if the New Orleans Saints' bounty scandal and the punishments from the league weren’t enough, the hearing scheduled for Oct. 30 with former NFL Commissioner and new arbitrator in the case, Paul Tagliabue, has been postponed due to the impending hurricane heading towards the East Coast, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter:

Tuesday's Hearing in front of Paul Tagliabue is postponed because of the weather.

—Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 27, 2012

Weather stations across the eastern seaboard have called Hurricane Sandy one of the most potentially dangerous storms in years, and the cancellation of this hearing is strictly due to the impending weather issues.


What It Means

As much as NFL fans will want to dive deeper to find a meaning behind this cancellation, this is simply a case of bad weather making an already tough situation even tougher.

The delay will not change the outcome of the hearing, so the only real difference hindering on the date of the hearing is when the possible penalties would take effect.

If the meeting is delayed long enough, the players facing suspension could play in Week 9 if eligible.


What’s Next?

While nothing has been rescheduled as of this moment, the league will figure out when the hearing will take place after the hurricane has made its way past the East Coast, and the cleanup effort is completed.

There were issues with this meeting before the weather ever became a factor, with the players motioning to recuse Tagliabue from the appeals process (per Larry Holder of after current commissioner Roger Goodell recused himself from the hearings.

Those players—Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith, Scott Fujita and Anthony Hargrove—have “until noon on Monday to reply to Judge Helen Berrigan in U.S. District Court to the NFL's opposition” regarding the players’ request for Tagliabue to step down. 


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