Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sports
Panel hears NFLPA bounty appeal
by Traci Neuman


NEW YORK (AP) -- A three-member panel has finished hearing an NFL Players Association appeal challenging Commissioner Roger Goodell's authority over four players punished in the league's bounty investigation of the New Orleans Saints.

The panel consists of retired federal Judge Fern Smith of San Francisco, retired federal Judge Richard Howell of New York, and Georgetown professor James Oldham. The players union wants the panel to overturn a ruling by NFL system arbitrator Stephen Burbank, who concluded that Goodell had the authority to hear and rule on the players' appeals of their suspensions.

NFLPA attorney Jeffrey Kessler, who argued before the panel Thursday, says Burbank's ruling was flawed and that Goodell overstepped his authority. Attorney Gregg Levy offered counter arguments for the NFL.

Panel members say they'll try to issue an opinion next week.