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Reports: NFLPA seeks clarification from Tagliabue

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By PFW staff

The NFLPA sent former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue a letter asking for clarification on his new position of hearing officer for the Saints’ players bounty appeals.

Roger Goodell recused himself last week and appointed Tagliabue in charge of hearing the appeals from Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith, Scott Fujita and Anthony Hargrove. The union and league agreed on the move — NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith first announced it on Twitter.

According to NFL Network’s Albert Breer, the letter asks if Tagliabue can “clear himself on the District of Columbia Bar’s ethical regulations,” as a rule states one cannot be an arbitrator if associated with one of the parties.

Tabliabue is a partner at Covington & Burling, which is the firm representing the NFL in the players’ lawsuits. The union asks what his involvement has been during the bounty case.

The union also asks Tagliabue to clarify his relationship with the NFL.

CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reports that the NFLPA would like to interview Tagliabue to learn about his role from the 1996 investigation into the “smash for cash” program, which was revealed two weeks ago. La Canfora reports that the letter asks Tagliabue to recuse himself from the case, though a source told USA Today’s Mike Garafalo that the union has not yet asked Tagliabue to recuse himself.

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