Greg Hardy, the Dallas Cowboys' defensive end, will be missing the first four games of the regular season as he serves suspension for a violation of the National Football League's personal conduct policy.
The NFL originally declared a 10-game suspension for Hardy back in April, a month following the confirmation of his one-year deal with the Cowboys. Arbitrator Harold Henderson upheld the player's suspension for conduct that is deemed as damaging to the league.
"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," Henderson mentioned in a statement.
However, he reduced the number of suspended games on appeal, explaining that, "10 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."
The 27-year-old defensive end was reportedly found guilty on a domestic violence charge in North Carolina while he was still a member of the Carolina Panthers. The charges were subsequently dismissed in February when the alleged victim did not show up for the jury trial.
Hardy was accused of physically assaulting and threatening to kill his then-girlfriend. The NFL reviewed the accusations against the player and said that there was "sufficient credible evidence" that he violated the league's policies when the suspension was imposed.
In light of the recent "Deflategate" ruling, in which a federal judge dismissed the New England Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady's suspension, it was widely reported that Hardy will also appeal his suspension to be overturned or further reduced.
However, it seems that the Dallas Cowboys are preparing for their defensive end to just serve the four-game suspension. In an interview with the 105.3-FM The Fan radio, the team's executive vice president Stephen Jones said, "Our thoughts are right now we are accepting that he won't be here for four games. If that were to change for the better, then great. But right now we're making plans as if he's going to be suspended for four games and ready to move forward."
Hardy joined Dallas' training camp and preseason games prior to his suspension which began in September 5. Hardy's team will also be without middle linebacker Rolando McClain, who is likewise suspended for the first four games of the season after violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.