AP source: Players will oppose Tagliabue

Associated Press
FILE - In this Aug. 8, 2012, Roger Goodell, left, the NFL's chief operating officer, and Paul Tagliabue, NFL commissioner, pose for photos after Goodell was selected to succeed Tagliabue as the league's new commissioner at an NFL meeting in Northbrook, Ill. Goodell appointed Tagliabue on Friday, Oct. 19, 2012, to hear the appeals of four players suspended in the New Orleans Saints bounties scandal.(AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

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A person familiar with the decision tells The Associated Press the four players suspended for their roles in the Saints bounties scandal will oppose former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue hearing their appeals.

The players plan to file papers in U.S. District Court in New Orleans on Wednesday afternoon saying Tagliabue's appointment represents a conflict of interest, the person says, speaking on condition of anonymity because the briefs have yet to be filed.

Commissioner Roger Goodell recused himself from hearing this set of appeals and appointed his predecessor. But the players and their union contend Tagliabue should be disqualified because of his employment by a law firm which has handled bounty-related matters for the league and represented Goodell in Vilma's defamation lawsuit against him.


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