Per ESPN’s Todd Harper, Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy just had his suspension reduced to four games on appeal by arbitrator Harold Henderson. After the season of “Domestic Violence” the NFL originally suspended Greg Hardy in April for what it believed to be in violation of the league’s personal conduct policy. The “Violation” was during an altercation with Hardy’s former girlfriend Nicole Holder in the spring of 2014. Although the common misconception throughout this ordeal was that Hardy was “Guilty,” North Carolina law grants every defendant the right to a jury trial if the judge motions a guilty verdict during the bench trial period. Leading up to the jury trial the prosecution was not getting any cooperation from Holder & upon the actual court date, holder was no where to be found. Being that the alleged victim is critical in these types of cases, the charges were dismissed and Hardy; unlike Ray Rice & Adrian Peterson before him, was not convicted of any crime.
However, because of all the hoopla & outrage over a certain TMZ Video (which was unrelated to Hardy’s situation) Commissioner Roger Goodell apparently felt like he had to go with a strong punishment with Hardy after receiving so much negative press over the Ray Rice situation, which translated into a 10 GAME SUSPENSION for a crime that (By Law) Hardy was not found guilty of. But according to arbitrator Harold Henderson this was clearly an overreaction.
“After consideration of all the record evidence and arguments, I conclude that the Commissioner acted within his authority and properly exercised his discretion in finding that Hardy violated the NFL Personal Conduct Policy,” said Henderson. “However, ten games is simply too much, in my view, of an increase over prior cases without notice such as was done last year, when the ‘baseline’ for discipline in domestic violence or sexual assault cases was announced as a six-game suspension.”
Now, from a football standpoint this has the potential to be a game changer for the Cowboys season before it even starts. With Hardy now only missing 25% of the season their defense will be much improved if Hardy can regain his pro-bowl form from two seasons ago when he had 15 sacks in Carolina. The Cowboys pass rush was
awful mediocre last year, despite being one “Dropped Pass” away from reaching the NFC Championship game in last years playoffs. The Panthers gave up on a young emerging talent & the Cowboys took a gamble on him that now looks to be paying off sooner rather than later. Naturally there was some initial backlash to the Cowboys signing Greg Hardy from local, national media alike. But this is no different than when Andy Reid gave Michael Vick a second chance at the NFL after serving time for his crimes against dogs. People were outraged over it…..but time heals all wounds, and Hardy’s situation is no different. By this time next year, successful season or not; Hardy will continue his NFL career with no crime on his record, Nicole Holder will be somewhere in Colorado snowmobiling, and nobody will be concerned with the NFL’s “Commitment to ending Domestic Violence.” What makes this situation even more strange, is the fact that the very owner of the Dallas Cowboys was also being accused of sexually assaulting a woman
last year but it didn’t seem like the NFL nor the main stream media was all that concerned about it; nor was Roger Goodell trying to discipline an NFL Owner for a crime he was accused of committing despite having the case being dropped, much like Hardy’s case. Apparently…..being an Owner in the NFL grants you different treatment than the ones that play in the NFL. Go figure.