NEW ORLEANS - Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue plans to complete all hearings in the bounty probe by Decemver 4 and make a ruling shortly thereafter.
In a document obtained on Wednesday by The Associated Press, Tagliabue directs the NFL to produce key witnesses in the New Orleans Saints cash-for-hits program, including former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and former defensive assistant Mike Cerullo.
Four players initially were suspended, but those punishments were vacated. Commissioner Roger Goodell re-issued the suspensions with some modifications, and when the players appealed again, Goodell appointed Tagliabue to oversee the new hearings. Meanwhile, Saints linebacker Jon Vilma and defensive end Will Smith are still playing pending appeals.
Even as Tagliabue moves the process forward, a federal judge is still considering arguments by players that Tagliabue should be removed as arbitrator because he is biased in favor of the NFL.
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