4 Players Banned For Bountygate, Vilma Banned For Season
The NFL suspended four players Wednesday for their role in "bountygate." Current New Orleans Saints Jonathan Vilma and Will Smith, and former Saints Scott Fujita and Anthony Hargrove have received bans for the upcoming season.
Vilma (pictured left) has been suspended for the entire 2012 season, effective immediately. Hargrove, currently with the Green Bay Packers, has been suspended 8 games. Smith has been banned for 4 games, and Fujita, currently with the Cleveland Browns, for 3. All suspensions are without pay.
With the exception of Vilma, the suspened players are allowed to take part in their teams' offseason and preseason activities. Vilma's suspension will end after the Super Bowl.
All 4 players plan to appeal the suspensions. To do so, they will need the help of the NFL players associations (NFLPA).
Earlier today, the NFLPA released the following statement:
“After seeing the NFL’s decision letters, the NFLPA has still not received any detailed or specific evidence from the league of these specific players’ involvement in an alleged pay-to-injure program. We have made it clear that punishment without evidence is not fair. We have spoken with our players and their representatives and we will vigorously protect and pursue all options on their behalf.”
Get ready for a rumble on the legal battlefield.