Roger Goodell says he will meet with Vilma
Sep/12/12 08:43 AM Filed in: Jonathan Vilma
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell plans to meet with four players who were allegedly involved in bounty-hunting, according to an ESPN.com report.
Goodell plans to meet with Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith, Scott Fujita and Anthony Hargrove, but dates have not been set, according to the report.
Vilma's attorney said during an interview with ESPN his client is open to a meeting with Goodell as long as there's an opportunity to review the evidence and question witnesses.
According to the report, Peter Ginsberg intends to formally notify the league of his position Tuesday. Ginsberg was retained by Vilma after the Saints linebacker received a season-long suspension for his alleged role in the team's bounty scandal.
Vilma's suspension was overturned last week by an arbitration panel. He's currently on the physically unable to perform list with a knee injury.
"I'm expecting a fair meeting, unlike the June 18 appeals hearing. We can all benefit from transparency regarding evidence and witnesses instead of using conjecture or hearsay to come to inaccurate conclusions. I look forward to getting this accomplished," Vilma told ESPN on Tuesday.
The issue of full disclosure of evidence and access to witnesses is a sticky one. The NFL presented it's case to a group of reporters last June with what it called "overwhelming evidence."
SI.com's Peter King summed up the presentation this way: "There's little doubt the aggrieved players will find a way to take action against the league for the sanctions. But now that the league has shared its case with the press—and, as a result, the public—it's not quite the slam-dunk case of negligence the players have charged."
The problem for Goodell is the arbitration panel's decision to overturn the player suspension in the case suggests the commissioner overstepped his authority or failed to ensure fairness in the process.