Bounty Gate is back in the news today, with a shocking move made by the commissioner.
The main contention of the players has been that Goodell should not be the one hearing the appeals. Although the CBA says he can, he has conceded to the players. The NFL has announced that Goodell is recusing himself from the appeals process, and former commissioner Paul Tagliabue has agreed to take the case over in his place.
This serves as a shocking move, as the league has contended the entire time that Goodell is entitled to hear the case, based on the language of the CBA. The move marks a huge concession to the players involved in the case, giving jurisdiction to former commissioner Tagliabue.
Clearly Goodell feels that the case is so strong, that his punishments will hold up regardless of who the the hearing officer is. The league has never waivered on the belief that the evidence is strong, that will now be put to the test. It will be interesting to see how the players try to argue about fairness now.