Report: Judge in Vilma case asks for documents from Goodell
Oct/16/12 10:19 PM Filed in: Jonathan Vilma
The "Bountygate" case took another turn Tuesday when a judge in Jonathan Vilma's defamation suit against NFL commissioner Roger Goodell demanded that Goodell hand over documents related to his suspension of the New Orleans Saints linebacker, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported.
According to the newspaper, Magistrate Judge Daniel Knowles told Goodell to provide documents reviewed by NFL security related to accusations of the Saints putting bounties on opposing players, reports from witnesses interviewed, statements and affidavits from the investigation, and documents detailing the league's punishment issued in the case, including appeals.
The league will comply with the request, the Times-Picayune reported.
The court issued a motion to stay the discovery portion of Vilma's case pending review of the requested documents. The newspaper reported that Vilma will not have access to the documents even after the court receives them.
Vilma was suspended for the full season by Goodell for his alleged involvement in the Saints' pay-to-injury program. Goodell last week revised the punishment, allowing Vilma to collect his pay for the six weeks he already had been on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. His original sentence called for no pay for all 17 weeks of the season.
Vilma has said he'll come off the PUP list this week and play Sunday against the Buccaneers at Tampa Bay.
In the last 11 months, Vilma has had three surgical procedures on his left knee. He was placed on PUP when a collective-bargaining appeals panel temporarily overturned his season-long suspension and allowed him to rejoin the team just before the regular-season opener.