Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 6/4/12

NEW YORK - APRIL 22: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is interviewed by Darrelle Revis of the New York Jets for the 'Ocho Cinco New Network' on the red carpet during the 2010 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 25, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)

Special master Stephen Burbank upheld NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's authority to suspend four players the league punished for alleged involvement in the Saints bounty scandal.

Burbank ruled just five days after hearing the NFLPA appeal that the penalties were out of Goodell's CBA-granted authority and should be viewed as salary cap violations and not on-field misconduct. Burbank dismissed the grievance and said appeals should remain in the hands of the commissioner.

An appeal by the same four players -- Jonathan Vilma, Anthony Hargrove, Will Smith and Scott Fujita -- is pending with arbitrator Shyam Das. The NFLPA requested Das review whether the CBA agreement in August should prevent Goodell from punishing players for actions occuring prior to the new bargaining agreement. The grievance also suggests the on-field conduct reviews should be handled by Art Shell and Ted Cottrell, who review and hear appeals on such matters during the regular season.

Burbank earlier dismissed a grievance in favor of the NFL in which the Cowboys and Redskins challenged the total of $46 million in salary cap sanctions for violating the basic agreement between owners not to frontload contracts during the uncapped year of 2010.

Das was the arbitrator in the overturned steroids test case involving National League MVP Ryan Braun. He no longer works for Major League Baseball.

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