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Sunday, 06 May 2012 16:19
Goodell gives kangaroo proof in New Orleans Saints bounty case
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kangaroo-courtHow far is the NFL’s bounty punishment of the New Orleans Saints players?

Bayoubuzz has taken the position that the New Orleans Saints should be severely punished based upon the evidence.  So far, we believe the NFL  has shown zero, or perhaps a little degree above zero.

What has it shown?  A video tape of the defensive coordinator talking about hitting certain parts of the body? 

An affidavit by one of the accused players that has articulated no facts and which by itself would not be sufficient evidence to produce a judgment in a real court?

A statement by a U.S. attorney now in private practice that says they have more proof than the NFL needs.  However,  she mentioned no evidence, nada.

Right now, with the New Orleans Saints players punished, the NFL needs to show the evidence, not a Goodell-led-kangaroo-court media circus that does nothing but makes reasonable people wonder if they really have anything at all.

Yes, circus.  According Yahoo sports,  NFLPA counsel Richard Smith., the “PA received nothing but a summary statement and the ability to review a PowerPoint presentation the league put together regarding the particulars of the violations.

Beyond that, Smith says, the NFLPA was given nothing requested -- no player names, no interview transcripts, no dates of violations per the NFL's investigations ... they weren't even allowed to take a copy of the PowerPoint with them to review it. Based on Smith's recollection of the process, the NFLPA's attempts to get that information and properly represent the players resembled the student court in "Animal House" -- a kangaroo court process from start to finish.

"All the PA ever physically received from the NFL were the report and the coaches' suspension decision [attached as Exhibits A & B] to the Burbank grievance, and the suspension letters to the 4 players, attached as Exhibits C-F to the Burbank grievance," Smith told us. "This the sum total of the "facts" that have been provided by the NFL.  The League exhibited the PowerPoint in a meeting in March, 2012, but refused to make a copy available.  They refused to make anything else available, even under an agreement of confidentiality.  The PA's multiple requests to the NFL  for documents and for the ability to interview witnesses have all been denied.  The letters that were sent asking coaches to give interviews  to the PA have all gone unanswered."



The Saints will have an us-against-the-world chip on their shoulders this season...Bleacherreport rates the 50 worst NFL coaches of all time. John North (1973-75) was the only Saints coach making the list. I hosted the "John North Show" on Ch. 26 for those two seasons. How did J. D. Roberts go unranked? Gregg Williams' two seasons (2001-03) with the Bills earned him No. 17 on the list and Nick Saban's time with the Dolphins (2005-06) got him No. 17... The Browns are standing by Scott Fujita, who was suspended for three games for his involvement in the bounty program when he was with the Saints. Browns coach Pat Shumur issued a statement: "We will respect Commissioner Goodell's decision. Scott is a valued member of the Cleveland Browns and we look forward to his participation in our offsetting program and training camp."...

SOME hither, others yon: Bears LB Lance Briggs told the Chicago Tribune that the NFL's year-long suspension of Saints LB Jon Vilma was "a bunch of B.S."  "Let me make one thing clear, In no way do I condone somebody putting up money to intentionally hurt someone," said Briggs. "But bounty or not, what did the Saints on the field that was illegal? All I've seen on TV is clean, physical football. You can get the same on highlights films from any NFL team. It's becoming flag football. We're flying around at 100 mph."..'

THE BUCCANEERS have decided Rio give former LSU QB Jordan Jefferson another look. After giving Jefferson a tryout during their three-day rookie minicamp this weekend, the Bucs have agreed to sign Jefferson to a contract that will allow him a chance to make their team this summer. "I thought he made consistent improvement all weekend," Bucs coach Greg Schiano told the Tampa Tribune. "Each practice he got better and there's a lot of upside there. We'd like to have a chance to work with him and we'll go from there." Jefferson will battle Brett Ratliff for the No. 3 QB job...Fox sportscaster Troy Aikman has his Dallas estate up for sale for $25 million...

THE COWBOYS can't sign Mo Claiborne of LSU until June. The Cowboys are waiting for former CB Terence Newman's contract to expire June 1 before signing any of their seven draft picks. Newman was cut in March, but the $6 million salary-cap figure tied to his contract will not come off the books until until June. The Cowboys traded up to the Rams' No. 6 over-all pick to draft's Gregg Rosenthal gives Eli Manning a B+ for turn as host of "Saturday Night Live" this weekend. Wrote Rosenthal: "As athlete hosts go, he looked like Sean Penn compared to Tom Brady, Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan. Eli went for it. He may have topped his brother. The performance was a lot like his career. We had low expectations, but he wound up looking cool under pressure."...

Saints running back Mark Ingram underwent arthroscope knee surgery to clean out debris on Thursday.

The Saints first-round draft choice last year probably will miss the Saints' OTAs and their minicamp in June.

Ingram had the knee cleaned out now so he would be healthy for training camp. Prior to last year's draft there were reports that issues related to Ingram's knee had some teams dropping him off their draft boards, but the former Heisman Trophy winner said the knee was sound.

Ingram's knee held up well last season, but other parts of his body didn't. He missed two games in the middle season with a heel injury, then missed the final four games of the regular season and the two postseason games with a turf toe which required surgery.

Bleacherreport comes out with more lists than David Letterman and Forbes Magazine. The website says LSU's football team is ranked too low at No. 2 in preseason polls. "Maybe it's because of SEC fatigue and maybe it's because Alabama and LSU are going to split SEC votes.No matter the reason, it appears that USC will likely be the preseason No. 1. The true No.1 should be LSU."...Mo Isom, the former LSU soccer star and homecoming queen, who got a three-day tryout with the Tigers football team this spring, but didn't make the team because she couldn't handle the tackling responsibilities the kicker has. She has a degree in broadcast journalism, and says the things she'll remember most of her days with the Tigers are "the smell and the language"...

Congratulations to Shaq O'Neal, who the other day earned his doctorate at Barry University on South Florida. "Kids can call me Shaq, but adults should call me Dr.'Neal," Shaq cracked to the Miami Herald. We all thought Shaq was kidding when he started  referring to himself as "The Big Aristotle." Now he has the academic credentials to back it up;....

Parting thought: "I tried to catch the fog, but I mist."...

by Ed Staton and Bayoubuzz staff


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Ed Staton

Ed Staton is a former sports writer for the Times Picayune and New Orleans States Item.  He also served as the New Orleans Saints Information Director.  He has won 43 media awards in writing, design and photography.  


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