The National Football League announced on Friday that appeals officer Harold Henderson has upheld the suspension of Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy, instead deciding to reduce his suspension from 10 games to four.
Harold Henderson's decision on the Greg Hardy appeal is in. Suspension upheld…reduced from 10 to 4 games.
— Greg Aiello (@gregaiello) July 10, 2015
It’s an extremely interesting decision considering Hardy’s punishment was handed down under the guise of the league’s new domestic violence policy. In reality, he was the poster boy for discipline being handed down from the powers to be in New York City.
By reducing Hardy’s suspension by six games, Henderson is sending a strong message—a message that doesn’t necessarily fit in with the rhetoric we have heard from the league office over the past year or so.
Hardy was placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt List after just one game last season. The incident that handed Hardy in hot water as a member of the Carolina Panthers stems from a domestic violence case in North Carolina. Hardy was originally found guilty—a verdict that was thrown away when the defensive end requested a new trial. Once that trial was set to begin, Hardy’s ex-girlfriend, Nicole Holder, didn’t show up to testify. As the alleged victim, her lack of testimony—after receiving a payout from Hardy—led to charges being dropped.
It remains to be seen whether Hardy will continue further in the appeals process. Indications had been that he was looking to get the suspension overturned completely. The argument here is that Hardy sat out the final 15 games of last season with the Panthers. Though, he still received his full $13.1 million salary. Hardy’s camp also believes that the NFL acted improperly by enforcing a new policy on a player whose alleged crime took place under the old policy.
Photo: USA Today Sports