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Roger Goodell recuses self from bounty appeal, Paul Tagliabue to step in

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has recused himself from the appeals process connected to the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal, according to a tweet from NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith.

Goodell's action essentially means that he admits a conflict of interest or a lack of impartiality in deciding whether to uphold the suspensions of players who were alleged to have been involved with the New Orleans Saints' bounty program. Paul Tagliabue, Goodell's predecessor as NFL commissioner, will take over as the arbitrator in the bounty appeals process.

UPDATE (2:30 PM): The NFL has released an official statement on the matter, and has also announced that it will delay the hearing of the players' appeals to October 30th. The NFL statement includes this quote from Goodell:

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“I have held two hearings to date,” Commissioner Goodell said, “and have modified the discipline in several respects based on my recent meetings with the players. To bring this matter to a prompt and fair conclusion, I have appointed former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue to serve as the hearing officer for the upcoming appeals. Paul Tagliabue is a genuine football authority whose tenure as commissioner was marked by his thorough and judicious approach to all matters. He has many years of experience in NFL collective bargaining matters and an impeccable reputation for integrity"