Hearing Scheduled For Nov. 30 in Appeal of Key Ruling in Vick Bonus Money Case

A hearing has been scheduled for Nov. 30 before U.S. District Judge David Doty in the NFL Players Association's appeal of a key ruling in the Michael Vick bonus forfeiture case.

The Atlanta Falcons are attempting to force Vick, their suspended quarterback, to return $19.97 million of the $37 million in bonus money in his 10-year, $130 million contract. University of Pennsylvania law professor Stephen Burbank, the NFL's special master, ruled 2-1/2 weeks ago that a precedent involving wide receiver Ashley Lelie and the Denver Broncos did not apply to the Vick case, clearing the way for the Falcons to pursue the bonus money from Vick in a non-injury grievance with another arbitrator.

The players' union is representing Vick in the case and is appealing that decision by Burbank, who's in charge of resolving disputes between the union and league arising from their labor agreement, to Doty, who oversees the sport's labor deal. The precedent is a significant issue because it was ruled in the Lelie case that the Broncos could not force Lelie to return money contained in an option bonus in his contract, and the union argued in the Vick case that the same restriction should apply to money contained in roster bonuses in Vick's contract.

Vick is on indefinite suspension by the NFL after pleading guilty to a federal conspiracy charge related to his participation in a dogfighting operation.

By Mark Maske |  October 26, 2007; 5:06 PM ET  | Category:  Falcons , League
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