NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue has advised league officials and players implicated in the NFL's bounty probe that he plans to complete all hearings by Dec. 4 and make a ruling shortly after.
In a document obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press, Tagliabue directs the NFL to produce key witnesses in the New Orleans Saints cash-for-hits program, including former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and former defensive assistant Mike Cerullo.
Four players initially were suspended, but those punishments were vacated and Tagliabue to oversee new hearings. Meanwhile, Saints linebacker Jon Vilma and defensive end Will Smith are still playing.
Even as Tagliabue moves the process forward, a federal judge is still considering arguments by players that Tagliabue should be removed as arbitrator because he is biased in favor of the NFL.