Greg Hardy managed to avoid any criminal penalties in connection with the domestic violence accusations leveled against him last year. But the NFL’s own investigation concluded that Hardy did commit an act of investigation and was dishonest when asked directly about it.
Jeff Pash, the NFL’s executive vice president and general counsel, said on Outside the Lines that the NFL (which was burned by the Ray Rice case) will no longer rely on the legal system. Instead, the NFL conducts its own investigations, and Pash said the league’s investigation found that Hardy committed “a significant act of violence.”
“This suspension was imposed after a lengthy and detailed independent investigation of the kind we really hadn’t done before,” Pash said. “We did an independent investigation, we didn’t rely simply on the record here.”
Pash also said Hardy and his representatives were given ample opportunity to give his side of the story, and that the NFL found Hardy had engaged in “a failure to be candid in the context of the investigation.”
“His explanations of the events that happened last May simply could not be reconciled with the testimony of other witnesses, with other objective evidence, or with, frankly, some of the variations in testimony over time from Mr. Hardy,” Pash said.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made the final call on the decision to suspend Hardy without pay for the first 10 games of the 2015 season. That’s a decision that Hardy will appeal, but that the NFL insists was made after the kind of thorough investigation that wasn’t conducted with Ray Rice.