If you are like me you read the recent development in the bounty-gate drama as the suspensions being over turned and that Goodell had to make a ruling on the player punishment. Meaning...I was confused. I think this latest announcement clears it up, at least a little. The good news is the suspensions though on hold can and will probably go forward at some point.
NFL STATEMENT ON APPEALS PANEL RULING
In light of some confusion surrounding the ruling of the CBA Appeals Panel, it is important to understand what the panel did and did not rule. The panel did not overturn the suspensions and did not say Commissioner Goodell overstepped his authority.
The panel's decision asks no more than that the commissioner clarify his earlier rulings to ensure -- and to clearly state -- that no part of the prior ruling was attributable to matters within Professor Burbank's authority (salary cap violations). It does not require the commissioner to take additional evidence or to "reweigh" the evidence currently in the record. The panel did not take issue with any findings that were made in the course of the investigation, did not exonerate anyone involved, and did not say that the commissioner "overstepped his authority."
The panel made clear that the commissioner had full authority to impose discipline on the players so long as the discipline was attributable to conduct detrimental to the league, rather than "undisclosed compensation." The panel asked only that he clarify that he was not relying on the "undisclosed" nature of the financial incentives in imposing the discipline. In the meantime, the panel put the suspensions on hold.
So as BW said on CSR radio that the panel said he cannot suspend them for undisclosed compensation but he can suspend them for conduct detrimental to the league. He simply needs to be clear about that in the way he documents and meets out of the punishment. I'm not sure why that required the suspensions to be put on hold but... will this ever end?