NEW YORK - The NFL has denied the appeals of four players suspended in connection with the league's bounty investigation of the New Orleans Saints.
Scott Fujita, Anthony Hargrove, Will Smith and Jonathan Vilma were notified today that Commissioner Roger Goodell has upheld punishment for conduct detrimental to the NFL after their roles as New Orleans Saints' pay-for-performance/bounty program discovered last season.
Former Saints linebacker, Fujita, now with the Cleveland Browns, has been suspended without pay for the first three games.
Defensive lineman Hargrove, now with the Green Bay Packers is suspended without pay for the first eight games, Smith is suspended without pay for the first four games and Vilma is suspended without pay for the full duration of the 2012 season.
"I did not make my determinations here lightly. At every stage, I took seriously my responsibilities under the Collective Bargaining Agreement," said Commissioner Goodell.
Representatives for the players raised a series of jurisdictional challenges to authority to the commissioner to hear appeals in the case.
Goodell wrote that he retains the right to reduce suspensions should new facts arise, as well as each player is still able to meet with him to present his side of the story.
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