Tagliabue Overturns Saints’ Suspensions

Former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue issued a ruling to overturn the suspensions of four current and former New Orleans Saints players Tuesday, bringing a close to a case that has plagued the NFL for close to a year. Tagliabue, the commissioner from 1989–2006 was asked by his predecessor, current commissioner Roger Goodell, to oversee the appeals in order to keep the league from operating a “kangaroo court.” While Tagliabue did find that three of the players had engaged in fine-worthy conduct that was “detrimental to the league,” he placed a large part of the blame on the coaches themselves, who rewarded key plays—including hard tackles—with a culture of performance pools. “This entire case has been contaminated by the coaches and others in the Saints’ organization,” the ruling said.