For Panthers, time is of the essence in Marty Hurney investigation

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The good news for the Panthers is that the NFL mobilized quickly to interview suspended-with-pay interim G.M. Marty Hurney after a vague (and withdrawn) allegation of domestic violence emerged last week. The bad news for the Panthers is that there continues to be no news about Hurney’s status.

The Panthers, as a practical matter, currently have no General Manager as the clock ticks toward key offseason dates, from the opening of the franchise-tag window to the closing of the franchise-tag window to the two-day pre-free agency tampering period to the start of free agency and launch of the new league year. Teams need to decide which impending free agents of their own they want to keep, which restricted or exclusive-rights free agents shoulder be tendered (and at what level), which free agents from other teams should be pursued, whether to be aggressive and overpay, whether to wait it out and pay less, whether to attempt to engineer trades, and whether to be receptive to teams interested in making a trade.

Then there’s a little thing known as the Scouting Combine, which opens in only two weeks. That’s where incoming rookies are poked and prodded and pressed for answers, and where plenty of pre-free-agency planning (via tampering) occurs in meetings between teams and agents.

It’s believed that Panthers director of college scouting Jeff Morrow currently is handling the draft and its preparations, and there’s not much more to be done as it relates to the team’s upcoming free agents. (Decisions may still be need to be made regarding veterans who may be squeezed to take less money.) All things considered, it’s fairly important to have a General Manager in place during the months of February, March, and April. Currently, the Panthers don’t — and it’s not clear when they will.

The Panthers could hire a new G.M. whenever they want, and they have a trio of external candidates for the job (Lake Dawson, Martin Mayhew, and Jimmy Raye). Or they could wait for Hurney to be reinstated. Until the NFL reinstates him, however, waiting carries with it the reality that, until he’s back, the Panthers will continue to have no General Manager.

The facts surely drive each of these cases, and the facts of this case are, put simply, that allegations of domestic violence made in a court proceeding that unfolded without Hurney’s side being heard or presented resulted in a judicial finding of no evidence of wrongdoing. If the court system can reach that kind of conclusion within a matter of days, why can’t the NFL?

Paid leave, an amorphous, post-Ray Rice tool for helping the NFL prop up its own P.R. interests by removing someone accused of domestic violence from the workplace, should only be used when there’s reason to believe that the allegations of misconduct are real and credible. For now, there’s no real or credible evidence that Hurney did anything wrong.

Unless the league has something clear and concrete, the league should give the Panthers the green light to let Hurney go back to work on behalf of a team that already is trying to make plans for the 2018 with full knowledge of the reality that, sooner or later, the Panthers will have a new owner and, quite possibly, an entirely new front office.

13 responses to “For Panthers, time is of the essence in Marty Hurney investigation

  1. NFL is out of line suspending, even with pay, Marty Hurney in this case. If they feel the need to investigate Hurney further despite the withdrawn allegation, fine. But allow him to do his job until credible evidence is found.

  2. Hurney wasn’t a very good GM and got fired by the Panthers in 2012 because the team was horrible. They need to just move on from him and hire a new GM.

  3. Why are they waiting for him to be reinstated when they fired him once, he was out of FB and they made it known he was only coming back as a temp. Something does not add up…if they keep him the new owner will fire him if he is there….

  4. NFL makes government and unions look efficient. Looks like this offseason is going to be a waste Panthers go 6-10 new owner brings in his guys…Panthers are in a rebuild piss away Cam’s and Luke’s prime, CMC walks at end of 1st contract.

  5. It’s good that law enforcement is in the hands of the NFL. We won’t be needy those expensive police forces and courts now.

  6. It is truly sad that a person’s career can be de-railed/destroyed by an allegation that may or may not be true. What ever happened to “due process”? Individuals who make allegations, which are proven wrong or dismissed should suffer the consequences that would have been applied to the one whom they accused.

  7. He’s entitled to due process, which is exactly what the investigation is providing. However, this argument that the withdrawal of the charges is proof of innocence should draw no more firm conclusions than the initial allegation of abuse in the first place — over 40% of all valid domestic violence charges are withdrawn by the abused spouse (only to occur again later).

  8. willycents – nothing is “disproven” or dismissed, his wife just suddenly dropped the charges when she realized it was gonna prevent him from getting this high paying job, therefore affecting the amount of money he can pay her out to go away and remain silent. To allow someone to be strong armed and threatened into dropping charges then using that to say “see, she dropped them, nothing to see here but a clearly innocent man” is just naive.

    You’re a fool if you think this guy is being mistreated. And like i said, even without this situation, HE DOES NOT DESERVE THE JOB. He’s not a good GM. There’s a reason he was unemployed in the league for years after being fired by the Panthers the first time. I have no idea why they want to keep this guy so bad. He isn’t even good at the job.

  9. Why are they even waiting on this Hurney situation? RICHARDSON IS OUT, we don’t need to pander to his good ol boys anymore. It’s time for NEW BLOOD in the organization. Even if Hurney wasn’t being investigated for anything, HE IS NOT A GOOD GM. He was fired years ago for managing this team into a cap strapped nightmare bogged down with bad contracts. Then in the years after he was fired, NOBODY in the league wanted or needed him until Richardson went to hand the job back to him on a silver platter.

    I love my Panthers, but this is making us look like a joke. This whole Hurney situation is just embarrassing. I have no idea why everyone seems to be bending over backwards trying to employ him.

    LET’S MOVE ON ALREADY. We don’t need this guy. Nobody does.

  10. My guess would be if they fire him and the NFL doesn’t find any credible evidence the Panthers would still have to pay out his contract.

  11. Morons acting like he didn’t draft Cam, Luke, Pep, TD, trade for Olsen, etc. Armchair QBs thinking he is incapable of learning how to better handle the salary cap during his hiatus from the NFL.

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