Hardy will immediately appeal his suspension


The NFL has imposed a major suspension on Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy.  And now the former Panthers pass rusher will exercise his right to appeal the decision.

Per a league source, Hardy will immediately appeal the 10-game suspension.  The appeal will focus on the retroactive application of the NFL’s new approach to domestic violence to conduct that happened before the NFL toughened its penalties and changed its personal conduct policy.

Prior to the Ray Rice incident, a first-time offender found to be responsible for domestic violence typically received a two-game suspension.  That’s the penalty Rice initially received, and he did not appeal it.

But the NFL absorbed significant criticism for the perceived slap on the wrist, prompting an initial change to the penalties in domestic violence cases.  Later, after the video of Rice knocking out his then-fiancée emerged, the NFL responded to relentless scrutiny and a widespread backlash by revamping the entire conduct policy.

The first question becomes whether the NFL will appoint an independent arbitrator to handle the appeal.  Then, the question becomes whether the appeal will succeed on the question of whether the NFL did indeed apply its new approach to domestic violence retroactively.

Ultimately, Hardy may end up in court, arguing that the NFL is holding him responsible under a standard that didn’t exist when the behavior occurred.  Vikings running back Adrian Peterson secured a ruling to that effect earlier this year.  (He has since been reinstated, for reasons unrelated to the legal case.)

It’s possible that Hardy, if he files suit, will seek an order allowing him to play while the litigation and any appeals are pending.

From the league’s perspective, the risk of ultimately losing in court likely outweighs the risk of further P.R. problems that could have emerged if Hardy had been suspended only two games.  Even if the appeal is successful, the league can claim that it did everything in its power to keep Hardy on the sidelines for another 10 games.

Last season, Hardy missed 15 games with pay while his criminal case was pending.  But the league doesn’t regard paid leave as discipline.  If the 10-game suspension is upheld, Hardy eventually will have missed 25 games.

Hardy’s criminal case was dismissed in February after alleged victim Nicole Holder didn’t show up for the jury trial.  She and Hardy reportedly reached a civil settlement of her claims.  But the NFL determined a serious violation of the Personal Conduct Policy occurred, based on its own investigation.

51 responses to “Hardy will immediately appeal his suspension

  1. The judges guilty verdict is more like a grand jury finding probable cause for a trial than an actual trial. In NC., for a misdemeanor charge, you have to first have a bench trial by judge to test if there’s enough evidence for an actual trial by jury. Last I checked. Everyone, including NFL players, have a right to a trail by jury before being CONVICTED of a crime. In reality, that’s all Hardy’s guilty verdict means is in the opinion of the judge there’s enough evidence to have an actual trial by jury. For all the people condemning Greg Hardy there really is no evidence that he did anything other than break-up with her and ask her to get out of his apartment. This so called poor little innocent drug using victim thought an all expenses paid shopping trip was more important than having him convicted and punished by actual jury trial. Think about that for a minute.

    In my opinion, those pictures and that evidence should should not and can not be used against Hardy by the NFL. For an alleged first time personal conduct violator he’s already missed an entire season, most teams won’t sign him, earned opportunity for a contract close to 100 million with 40 to 50 million guaranteed and some of you all now want him BANNED for life? I thought GODell was the worst. lol I have no idea what those photos show but even if the scratches and bruises on her were from her falling down drunk, Hardy would have gotten penalized for it. The NFL has become judge, jury, and executioner.

  2. Hopefully double jeopardy has not attached due to the dismissal of the charges rather than a finding of not guilty, and the NFL review process compels Hardy to discuss his violent, crimes. Then prosecutors can refile the charges based on Hardy’s own admissions.

    But, this is Jerruh and the Boys at stake, so the NFL will probably just reduce the suspension to the first regular season practice and make Detroit forfeit a draft choice.

  3. The good thing for Dallas is they will save cash for 10 games, other teams will be wary of looking at him the following year, and Dallas should be able to sign him to a longer term deal for less money

  4. He should have been banned from the NFL for at least a year, and possibly for life.

  5. Didn’t he get payed like AP did last year? If it is upheld, that will free up sme cap space to get AP if the Vike’s decide to trade him.

  6. Didn’t the league set the penalty for domestic violence to six games last year in response to the Rice thing?

  7. Obviously a suspension is still warranted because last year wasn’t a suspension upheld by the league even though he was on whatever bs exempt list blah blah it’s too hard to even keep track of.

    This was all a ploy by Goodell to drive ratings by having a player come back from a domestic dispute on Thanksgiving Day vs. his old team.

    Of course John Maras team gets to face Dallas without Hardy in both games. Most corrupt person in the NFL outside of Goodells office

  8. I hate Dallas and my team benefits most from Hardy’s suspension (he’d miss both Giants’ games) but what that rat fink Goodell is doing to him is complete b.s. I hope he wins the appeal and the NFL is made to look bad in the process.

  9. KIR says:
    Apr 22, 2015 4:43 PM
    The judges guilty verdict is more like a grand jury finding probable cause for a trial than an actual trial.
    (clipped a bunch of nonsense)
    The NFL is able to conduct its own investigation. Whether he is guilty of a crime has no bearing on his guilt of breaking conduct rules.

  10. If it were the Pats the NFL would still investigate for a few more years, until the next cheating scandal breaks.

  11. As a Giant fan, I want Hardy on the field–he will no doubt bring his “A” game which will require a like response from our guys–best players bring out the best so let’s rock and roll.

  12. Here’s the deal. Bench trial….60 days in jail…suspended!!! 18 months probation. That is all he was facing. If he hadn’t appealed the decision and asked for a trial by jury he would’ve received the usual two game suspension from the NFL and played 14 games lAST YEAR. And get this…..the prosecutor could’ve chosen to bring the case to trial with out the alleged victim but her story was so flaky he chose not to. And FYI the league may be open to a defamation suit. Their interpretation of the events based on photos and not sworn statements is reckless. The league is gonna loose and loose big again.They should have given the 4 to 6 games most expected.

  13. this will be turned into a two game suspension, consistent with the way ray rice was suspended before the new rules came about. its a PR move as mentioned in the article.

  14. I am sorry.. a player missing 15 Nfl games is not considered a suspension. Well why didn’t you just let him play through his legal issues if you wasn’t going to take your exempt list into consideration. All you had to do was fine him ten game checks and essentially make him play for free and donate his game checks to a domestic violence organization or something. You may think I am being biased becuz of my team affiliation… but if you don’t seriously think something shady is being done here then society needs to reevaluate our own selves. 25 games for an acquitted charge is wrong and we all know it

  15. Wouldn’t it make more sense for him NOT to appeal so at the very least, he would be eligible for the last 6 and playoffs (if the ‘boys make it?) Say they appoint and independent arbitrator who upholds 10 games at week 8…

  16. What a country. All you have to do is make up a story that is impossible to prove, and someone is punished. Forget the fact that the accuser completely fabricated the entire incident. Forget the fact that if she did get attacked as Lord God Godell believes, she would have had multiple broken bones and would have spent time in the hospital. Forget the fact that for a small check, she disappears and refuses to cooperate with the DA. No, just make up a story about somebody beating you up, and he’s gone.

  17. This group of clowns from the NFL legal department actually convicted Greg Hardy of lying to their star chamber because he refused to confess to a crime that he didn’t commit. This is the kind of crap you used to see in old movies about justice in totalitarian countries.

  18. Can somebody, anybody (The NFL?) explain how they came up with the 10 games? Just wondering how they arrived at 10 games.

  19. tccoats says:
    Apr 22, 2015 5:58 PM
    Can somebody, anybody (The NFL?) explain how they came up with the 10 games? Just wondering how they arrived at 10 games.

    Goodell: Let’s say 6 games is fair. That means we have to tack on 4 more b/c that appeal judge sees right through me.

  20. “Due to your domestic violence, you’re in direct violation of our substance abuse policy. As such, I hereby find you guilty of racketeering and I sentence you to this here speeding ticket”

    -Roger Goodell

  21. The crazy thing is Hardy was put on paid suspension for 15 games and unpaid suspension for 10 games this season and he was not even convicted of anything. (That weird NC legal system in which misdemeanors are first heard before a judge and then appealed to an actual trial not withstanding). In the end he could have this whole incident expunged from his record yet will pay and already has paid a hefty penalty. It’s just crazy to me. Maybe he is a scum bag, I don’t know. All I know is that he doesn’t have any assualt conviction on his record. That should mean and account for something.

  22. Very tactical move. The NFL got ripped for “only” 2 games on Ray Rice. They hit Hardy with 10, he appeals and whatever it gets reduced to, the NFL can say they did their best. Look for it to be reduced to 4-6 games, 8 tops. This just gets the critics off their backs. Good move on their part for the court of public opinion. Whatever happens after that doesn’t matter. A judge can wipe it out on appeal in court. He wasn’t convicted for any crime. The league made their assumption off photos and a court will likely compel them to lighten the punishment. The new mandate is 6 games for 1st offense. Expect 6 on appeal!

  23. Gotta love everyone making Goodell into the bad guy here. And Hardy is now the victim. This country is going down the tubes.

  24. tccoats says:
    Apr 22, 2015 5:58 PM
    Can somebody, anybody (The NFL?) explain how they came up with the 10 games? Just wondering how they arrived at 10 games.
    Just a guess but assuming Goodell used the new standard it is 6 games with consideration for more based on aggravating factors like in the presence of guns or a child. He listed 4 incidents and the guns so he could probably tack on extra games for that. The number is arbitrary and not specified in the policy other than the minimum 6 as a starting point before processing mitigating and aggravating factors.

    Maybe Hardy would have been given 2 games if he didn’t subvert the NC justice system by bribing the victim and then acting like nothing happened. If he is innocent like some claim then why hide behind the money? His guilt or innocence concerning a violation of league policy has nothing to do with any legal charges but he still wants to hide behind the circumstances he bought and paid for during the legal process.

  25. I’m for this all the way!!!

    Hardy’s 10 games exceed the 6 game minimum and Ben Roethlisberger got a 2-game reduction by doing “good work” that we don’t know a damn thing about!!!

  26. The NFL knew ahead of time it was going to suspend him until the Thanksgiving game.

    Last year, the Cowboys played the Eagles on Thanksgiving. Every year, the Cowboys/Lions switch opponent conferences which would have made Dallas need to play an AFC team this year.

    Instead, the NFL gets 6 NFC teams playing on Thanksgiving and allows Hardy to return to face his previous team.

  27. The judges guilty verdict is more like a grand jury finding probable cause for a trial than an actual trial. In NC., for a misdemeanor charge, you have to first have a bench trial by judge to test if there’s enough evidence for an actual trial by jury etc. tc. etc…………..


    What a load!!!!
    A bench trial is not some preliminary procedure like a Grand Jury determing if there’s enough evidence to procede. It’s a trial with the same rules of evidence, etc. as a jury trial, and if you’re found guilty you’re just as guilty as in a jury trial. And, just like a jury trial, you have the right to appeal, and ask for a jury instead of just the judge to hear your case.

    The rest of this post is just as much horse manure as the first part.

  28. I wonder if this will affect their draft strategy. D line is in bad shape.

  29. “Hardy’s criminal case was dismissed in February after alleged victim Nicole Holder didn’t show up for the jury trial. ”

    DV is prosecuted with or without the victim. There was no compelling evidence with which to proceed. If the DA had PROOF that Hardy threw her against the wall or in the bathtub or on a futon or choked her, he would have proceeded with the case.

    He11, the original “conviction” was only for a misdemeanor, and that was by a DV activist judge.

  30. It’s a good PR move for the NFL. Just listen to everybody here bashing Goodell and the League. If I was the NFL, I’d appoint an independent arbitrator and let him rule. If he overturns the ruling, the NFL can say “See, we were tough, but somebody else overruled”. If he upholds, the NFL will say “We were tough and we were right.” NFL is in a Win-Win here.

    Either way, I’d expect all of the bashers here to be bashing the arbitrator for the exact same reasons they’re bashing now.

  31. goodell is a master manipulator for prolonging this decision this long. He def should b relieved of his duties with all his errors he’s admitted to….

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