The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has reinstated Tom Brady’s Deflategate suspension, reversing last autumn's ruling that commissioner Roger Goodell overstepped his authority in handing down punishment on the Patriots quarterback.
"Our review of the record," the Second Circuit ruled, "yields the firm conclusion that the Commissioner properly exercised his broad discretion to resolve an intramural controversy between the League and a player."
The decision points out that the court's power is "very limited" in reviewing an arbitration award. "We are therefore not authorized to review the arbitrator's decision on the merits despite allegations that the decision rests on factual errors or misinterprets the parties' agreement," the ruling states, "but inquire only as to whether the arbitrator acted within the scope of his authority as defined by the collective bargaining agreement."
The Second Circuit explained in its decision that the ruling handed down by judge Richard Berman, which erased Brady's four-game suspension last year, should not have considered the appropriateness of the punishment handed down. Instead it focused on Article 46 of the league's collective bargaining agreement, which provides the commissioner broad power to punish players.
"In short," the Second Circuit wrote, "it is not our task to decide how we would have conducted the arbitration proceedings, or how we would have resolved the dispute."
More to come . . .