No decision in Vilma, NFL hearing

No decision in Vilma, NFL hearing
Photo provided by WDSU, NBC New Orleans.

POSTED: Friday, August 10, 2012 - 11:30am

UPDATED: Friday, August 10, 2012 - 12:02pm

A judge said no decision would be made Friday for Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma.

Vilma and a gaggle of attorneys returned to a federal courtroom on Friday as the NFL sought dismissal of a lawsuit filed by the suspended Saint.

Judge Ginger Berrigan heard arguments related to Vilma's effort to overturn his "bounty suspension."

Berrigan said she wanted to rule in favor of Vilma but the league's Collective Bargaining Agreement might prevent her from doing so.

In early proceedings, Peter Ginsberg, representing Vilma, cited a lack of compelling evidence in the NFL's investigation into his client and other Saints.

Berrigan indicated at one point that she was not certain the league was transparent in its process and questioned the fairness of the punishment. The judge said she believed the punishment was too harsh, but believed she couldn't rule until Aug. 30, when another appeal is set.

However, the NFL Players' Association lawyers said the judge has the power and could indeed rule and let Vilma return to work.

Lawyers from the NFL cited the CBA in their arguments saying it's not subject to vacate and said she must defer to the agreement.

At the end of the hearing, one of Vilma's attorney's said, "This is an abomination of justice!"

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Vilma for the entire 2012 season, saying the Saints linebacker was among the ring leaders of a program that offered Saints defenders improper cash bonuses for injuring opponents.

Vilma, several teammates and Saints assistant head coach Joe Vitt have testified that Vilma never paid or accepted money for injuring another player.



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