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Arbitrator Hearing Set For May 30 In Saints Case

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NEW YORK (AP) – Arbitrator Shyam Das has finished hearing arguments from NFL and players’ union lawyers on whether Commissioner Roger Goodell can discipline players for actions that occurred before the league’s current labor agreement was signed last August.

The hearing lasted more than two hours, with outside counsel Dan Nash arguing the NFL’s position and lawyer Jeff Kessler speaking for the NFLPA, which filed a grievance after Goodell suspended four current and former New Orleans Saints players in connection with the league’s bounty investigation.

Former Saints Anthony Hargrove, who was suspended eight games, and Scott Fujita, who was suspended for three, attended Wednesday’s grievance hearing. Also suspended were Jonathan Vilma for the entire 2012 season and Will Smith for four games.

Das has not said when he would rule.

A separate arbitration hearing into whether Goodell has jurisdiction to punish the players for the team’s bounties program has been set for May 30.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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