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Title: NFL Bans 4 Players Over Bounties; Saints LB Vilma Suspended For Season
Source: CBS News
URL Source: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-400_162 ... an-vilma-suspended-for-season/
Published: May 2, 2012
Author: CBS News
Post Date: 2012-05-02 12:42:27 by Brian S
Keywords: None
Views: 301

(CBS/AP) New Orleans Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma has been suspended without pay for the entire 2012 season by the NFL, one of four players punished for participating in a pay-for-pain bounty system.

Defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove, now with the Green Bay Packers, is suspended for eight games this season; Saints defensive end Will Smith is barred for four games; and linebacker Scott Fujita, now with the Cleveland Browns, will miss three games. All of the suspensions are without pay.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's ruling was announced Wednesday.

Vilma was said to have offered $10,000 to knock out Brett Favre in the 2009 NFC championship game.

Goodell upholds penalties in Saints bounty case

According to CBSSports.com's Mike Freeman, all players will appeal their suspensions. Each has three days to do so. The appeal would be heard by Goodell.

An NFL investigation determined that the Saints had a bounty system from 2009-11 that offered thousands of dollars to players for big hits that knocked opponents out of games.

"It is the obligation of everyone, including the players on the field, to ensure that rules designed to promote player safety, fair play, and the integrity of the game are adhered to and effectively and consistently enforced," Goodell said in the league statement. "Respect for the men that play the game starts with the way players conduct themselves with each other on the field."

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