NFL Wire News

DE Hardy appeal set for May 28


The Sports Xchange

Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy’s appeal of a 10-game suspension will be heard May 28 by Harold Henderson.

Hardy was informed of the next steps in the process this week, only days after commissioner Roger Goodell lauded the NFL’s new protocol for punishing violators of the personal conduct policy for “getting it right.”

“Because of the process. Because we have the facts,” Goodell said. “We had the right people involved who were able to pull all the facts together, give us the kind of information that was necessary for us to make a decision that would reflect the values and the integrity of the league but also the personal conduct policy.”

Hardy spent most of last season on the commissioner’s exempt list, where he drew the entirety of his $13.1 million salary as the Carolina Panthers’ designated franchise player during the legal proceedings and investigation into Hardy’s alleged physical attack of his then-girlfriend.

The case was dropped in North Carolina when Nicole Holder, Hardy’s accuser, did not appear in court. But the NFL pushed to get photos and details of the attack from investigators and was allowed to view pictures and physical evidence.

Goodell said the evidence — including “hands to the head, hands to the neck” — was a major part of the case against Hardy, who met with the NFL twice during the league’s 60-day investigation, according to Goodell.

The league determined at least four instances of excessive force were used by Hardy against Holder.

Hardy’s representatives are likely to argue he is warranted credit for what is essentially time served – the 15 games on the exempt list in 2014 – that would make the punishment a 25-game ban.

“The net effect of these acts was that Ms. Holder was severely traumatized and sustained a range of injuries, including bruises and scratches on her neck, shoulders, upper chest, back, arms and feet,” Goodell wrote in a letter to Hardy informing him of the suspension last month. “The use of physical force under the circumstances present here, against a woman substantially smaller than you and in the presence of powerful, military-style assault weapons, constitutes a significant act of violence in violation of the Personal Conduct Policy.”

The NFL investigation, which it said included numerous witness interviews, was led by Lisa Friel and T&M Protection Resources. Prior to joining the NFL, Friel was vice president of the sexual misconduct consulting and investigations division of T&M.

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