Packer's Hargrove to have first arbitration meeting with NFL tomorrowWisconsin Sports
-- Green Bay Packers’ defensive end Anthony Hargrove and three other players will have their first arbitration hearings tomorrow in connection with the Saints’ bounty scandal.
GREEN BAY - Green Bay Packers’ defensive end Anthony Hargrove and three other players will have their first arbitration hearings tomorrow in connection with the Saints’ bounty scandal.
Arbitrator Shyam Das will decide whether another arbitrator should hear the appeals, instead of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell who levied the penalties in the first place. Das was fired yesterday as baseball’s top arbitrator – but that does not affect his status with the NFL. The players’ union says appeals for on-field behavior should be handled by an independent hearing officer and not the commissioner. And the union says Goodell does not have the authority to discipline player conduct which happened before the current collective bargaining agreement took effect last summer. The Saints’ bounty scandal took place for three seasons beginning in 2009. Defensive players were paid for vicious hits – and Hargrove made an especially tough hit on Brett Favre in that season’s NFL Championship Game.
The Packers signed Hargrove in March, and he was suspended for the first eight games this season. Jonathan Vilma was suspended for the year, and two other Saints received shorter suspensions. No date has been set for the appeal hearings themselves. The union wants arbitrator Stephen Burbank to hear them.
The Packers will hold their 12th annual Family Night scrimmage on Friday night, August third at Lambeau Field. Details were announced today. Tickets go on sale June 25th. Family Night is normally held on a Saturday – but all of Green Bay’s exhibition games are on Thursday nights this year, and the full-pad scrimmage will take place six days before the team’s pre-season opener at San Diego on August ninth. The scrimmage is part of an evening of activities that includes prizes and fireworks at the end. WLUK-TV of Green Bay is a sponsor of Family Night, and it televises the event to a statewide audience. It attracted full houses in its early years – but the recession drove down the size of the crowds in recent years, plus the fact that it’s no longer a novelty. Just over 43,000 people attended last year’s event – which was cut short by thunderstorms. Lightning also delayed Family Night in 2008, and it canceled the entire evening in ’09. Packers’ president Mark Murphy says there’s nothing like it in the NFL, and it shows the passion of Packer fans. And he promises good weather this year.
The Green Bay Packers filled their 90-man off-season roster yesterday, by signing five players who tried out during the team’s rookie camp this past weekend. They also cut offensive tackle Chris Campbell, who was on Green Bay’s practice squad for parts of the last two seasons. The five players who made it past the try-out stage were corner Otis Merrill, who played a year at Wisconsin before transferring to Illinois State – offensive tackle Shea Allard, a starter at Delaware for three years – guard Grant Cook, a starter for Arkansas last season – receiver Jarrett Boykin, the all-time leader in career catches and receiving yards at Virginia Tech – and receiver Curenski Gilleylen, who started two games and played in 30 others at Nebraska. He was held to eight games last season. The five players were among 29 who tried out last weekend.
Former Packers’ quarterback Ty Detmer has been named to the College Football Hall-of-Fame. His selection was revealed yesterday, in advance of an announcement of the rest of the 2012 class today. Detmer starred at Brigham Young from 1988-through-’91. He set 59 NCAA records and won numerous awards, as he threw for 15-thousand-31 passing yards and 121 touchdowns. Both were NCAA bests at the time. National Football Foundation president Steve Hatchell said Detmer accomplished almost everything a college football player can do, and the way he played the game was quote, “truly ahead of its time.” Detmer was the Packers’ ninth-round draft pick in 1992. He played seven games as Brett Favre’s back-up in Green Bay from 1993-to-’95 – and he ended up playing 14 seasons for the Packers, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Cleveland, Detroit, and Atlanta. Today, Detmer is the head coach at Saint Andrew’s Episcopal School in Austin Texas.