By The Associated Press
NEW YORK (AP) — An arbitration hearing into whether NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has jurisdiction to punish Saints players for the team’s bounties program has been set for May 30.
The players’ union has asked arbitrator Stephen Burbank of the University of Pennsylvania to rule if the players should be punished for the system that the league says ran for three years. The union argues that Burbank, not Goodell, should hear the appeals filed by Jonathan Vilma, suspended for the 2012 season, Will Smith (four games), Anthony Hargrove (eight games) and Scott Fujita (three games).
A separate hearing is being held Wednesday before arbitrator Shyam Das after the NFLPA filed a grievance saying Goodell can’t discipline players for their actions before the collective bargaining agreement was signed in August.