Saturday, November 1, 2014

Rivera is wrong; Hardy should still sit



Ron Rivera is wrong on this one.

It is only natural for Carolina's head coach to want Greg Hardy back on the field. Rivera is a good man who has a lot more balanced worldview than most football coaches. But at heart, he is first and foremost a football coach.

Rivera is paid to win games, and right now he isn't winning them. The Carolina Panthers are 2-5-1 since Hardy stepped off the field this season due to domestic violence charges. The star defensive end was placed on a paid leave of absence before Carolina's third game (he played in Week 1, then was deactivated in Week 2). Now it looks like (although it hasn't been made official) that his jury trial won't start Nov.17 as scheduled and will instead be postponed until after the season.

Rivera thinks that if the trial is postponed, Hardy in essence will have already served his time and should be able to play.

But there's really no new evidence and no compelling reason for the NFL to reinstate Hardy and let him play now as opposed to what we knew two months ago. He should continue to sit.

His court date may ultimately change, yes, but that is the way court dates often work. Remember, at one point while Hardy was still playing, Hardy's people were hoping for exactly this same scenario -- that a crowded docket would push the trial back into 2015, thus assuring that Hardy could play the whole season for Carolina.

Instead, it has gone the other way.

Hardy put himself in this situation. The fact that his was the first real domestic violence case after the Ray Rice punch video -- that was bad timing. The court case being pushed back? Again, bad timing.

But there would be no bad timing had there been no incident in the first place, and if a judge had not already found Hardy guilty in July of assaulting a female and communicating threats in connection with the May 13 confrontation with his former girlfriend. (Hardy appealed that conviction and asked for the full jury trial to which he is entitled).

The Panthers are the ones who have come out the worst on this. They are paying Hardy a whopping $13.1 million as their franchise player this season -- $770,000 every week during the season -- and all they have gotten for that so far is one sack and a mountain of bad publicity.

It is understandable that the team's coach would want to get more out of the team's investment.

But ultimately, not enough has changed to warrant Hardy's return.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

He should have sat for the 1st few games (without pay) for conduct detrimental and then have additional penalties added on if convicted. Its really not fair to sit any player for a whole year while you wait for a jury trial on a misdemeanor.

David from Stallings said...

Wrong. Hardy should be back at work now. What other profession would keep him from working for being found guilty of a misdemeanor? Don't get me wrong Hardy brought this all on himself by being the enabler of the party filling his home with drug users, drunks and guns. And the dispute about what happened between him and Miss Holder is up to the courts but IMO it's about defending the possibility of the sure to come civil case.

99.999% of people in this exact circumstance accept the verdict, pay the fine and court costs, hopefully learn yo be better people and move on.

It's Hardy's money and his defense of it that's dragging this out, combined with the NFL's inept policies related to domestic violence.

In my opinion if the court date is pushed back, Mr. Hardy should surrender the game checks that = the suspension the NFL would have imposed and get back to work.

And if he chooses not to do that and to try to collect his pay for nothing thru all of 2014 then it's my opinion he will not only see Miss Holder in civil court upon a guilty verdict he is very likely to see the Panthers there too seeking the full repayment of 15 game checks which he missed do to his own behavior.

It's an ugly situation but there is no longer reason for him to be denied the opportunity to work.

Anonymous said...

If he's guilty, he gets a 6 game suspension, per the league policy. OK, the panthers sit him for that amount of time so yes he has served the punishment that the league put in place.

Anonymous said...

Still trying to figure out why a guy awaiting trial for a misdemeanor isn't allowed to perform his job but yet his employer is forced to pay him for it.

If the Panthers are legally bound to pay him, he should be legally bound to play. Political correctness shouldn't come into it.

George Hanson said...

Rivera is desperate. KitKats never should have extended him when he did. He and his staff just are not getting the job done.

Anonymous said...

Scott, reading your comments make me realize what a goody two shoes you are. Most of us make mistakes in life and Hardy has a chance to make changes going forward. To me it is plain and simple, regardless of how he is sentenced for this misdemeanor, he should have the opportunity to work. PERIOD.

Anonymous said...

Who is KitKats?

Anonymous said...

He's paid his dues. Why penalize the team? If you look at North Carolina law, he can't be suspended without pay, but yet, you want him suspended with pay. Innocent or guilty, he has lost a heckuva lot of money for his next contract. It's a bleeping misdemeanor. There was no TKO, no bloody noses. What would Wal Mart do? What's the federal government's policy on domestic violence? Why should the NFL be any different? 6 games is way, way, way to much for a few bruises.

Anonymous said...

Scott that makes absolutely no sense. How can you say nothing has changed when six weeks have passed. Along that logic you can say that a man sentenced to 5 years in prison should never get out because "circumstances of the crime have not changed".

Anonymous said...

Hardy should be playing and I hope the league has sense enough to reinstate him.

Anonymous said...

Fowler you are just a part of the bs media hype train. People like you are the reason Ferguson, MO turned into what it did. CLAP...CLAP...CLAP...this is what you want right? Recognition and applause for you bs articles?

Anonymous said...

David from Stallings.

In most professions, we would have likely been fired.
I have no idea where you work but if an employee of mine did something so egregious, I don't want him anywhere close to the place of business.

You can minimize it as a "misdemeanor" but hitting a women, threatening to kill her and have enough weaponry on your couch to start a war rules out any description of a safe and reasonable employee.

Anonymous said...

Scott is being politically correct in his position that "Hardy should still sit" SF Niners have a linebacker playing each game while waiting for trial on domestic violence issue.

Anonymous said...

We live by a constitution in America that says we are innocent UNTIL proven guilty by a trial of our peers. What has happened here is he was found guilty in the court of public opinion. I don't think Jerry Jones has missed any time and he's been accused of something. Yes, Hardy should have known better than to have sketchy people around him, but when you have money, sketchiness comes around.

jay said...

don't chime in...

Anonymous said...

Scott, why do you want to keep the man down?

Anonymous said...

I know it's a different offense, but both the 1st and 2nd string RB's with the Pittsburgh Steelers were arrested and have missed zero games. Domestic abuse is unacceptable. Drunk driving should be too.

Anonymous said...

Why shouldn't he allowed to play? He is awaiting a trial just as the SF 49ers player, what's the difference? Also, why not play someone who is being paid although he is not playing? The league has already made their point by making him sit; however we aren't pointing out the fact he also called the police that night. If the trial is postponed, he might as well play and the system do its due diligence but not make him forfeit games but not forfeit his game checks. I think Scott has been reaching far lately, if this is the case then why was the Charlotte Observer praising Steve Smith so much this year when he's no longer and a Panther and his first years here wasn't all rosy as well?

Anonymous said...

Scott Fowler is as wrong as he is arrogant - very.

Anonymous said...

If not Rivera then who? Rivera and his staff is not the problem. All teams struggle when the QB is the MAIN problem. A new coach and a GM want make any difference IF you don't have a good QB. For all goin after Ron and his staff for the blame and not Cam, will get their feelings hurt at the of the season and in the future. All because of Pop Flash Newton. Ron and his staff don't deserve to be fired. Cam is not worth it!!!

Anonymous said...

Scott is right about Hardys defense wanting to push the court date back and that has backfired in our face. But policy is policy and he has served the amount of games that is required of someone guilty. It's like he is being held to some higher standards because he appealed his case for a jury trial. I say let him play. If he's found guilty next year then make him payback the money for the 6 weeks he sat and don't resign him. As a Panther fan the news of the Gregg Hardy domestic violence case hurt almost as bad as the release of Steve Smith news.

Anonymous said...

Scott, you are probably correct that the Panthers are the big losers, having to pay Hardy for no production/play.

However, I bought my season tickets on the premise that the Panthers would have Hardy playing and that he would help them be much more competitive. His not playing takes money out of the Panthers' pockets, but surely devalues my tickets and hurts the team's competitiveness. Between Hardy's sitting out and Cam's underperformance - especially against Pittsburgh, Green Bay and the Saints - I've really felt shortchanged in year 20.

Anonymous said...

I am curious what happens if he is found innocent? Hardy will be a free agent, who was never allowed due process. And who was not allowed to do his job or show his skills to potential employers. I don't have a dog in the fight - but curious wha sort of liability, or suit Hardy could bring back on the NFL or the Panthers?

Anonymous said...

Josh Brent of the Cowboys was found guilty of manslaughter in the death of his teammate and they just signed him to a 1-year extension and he is practicing.

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind -- when the incident happened, and even when he was initially found guilty, the "standard" punishment was a 2-game suspension.

If Hardy hadn't appealed to a jury trial, he would have sat 2 games and that would be that.

He and his agent need to barter a deal with the league -- prove that it's not about the money -- pay back 6 games worth of checks and get back on the field. The argument being: Even if he is eventually found guilty by jury trial, the suspension by the league will be 6 games. By bartering a deal, he's essentially saying: "I'm pleading guilty to the NFL, and accepting my suspension, so I can get back on the field -- I'll let the courts decide what they decide whenever they get to it.".

Also, there's a point to be made that the rules were changed on Hardy mid-stream. He could argue that if he knew about the 6-game (not 2-game) suspension, and if he knew about the Commissioner's list "policy" for legal limbo, then he never would have committed the act in the first place. Totally not believable, I know, but it's somewhat valid nonetheless.

And finally, if it really isn't about the money, then as soon as the Commissioner's list happened, he should have found a legal way to waive his appeal, plead guilty, accept his misdemeanor, accept his 6-game suspension (and argue it should be 2 since that was the apparent rule-of-thumb at the time), and get on with playing football.

What a mess. And yes, his fault. 100%.

Marconi Polonius said...

How about sitting SCAM Newton? Or suspend him for being a QB and a leader?

Anonymous said...

Scott,

I and everyone I know disagree wholeheartedly. He has already missed 8 games, 2 more than the new punishment for 1st time domestic abuse. If you want to write an article about the NFL and domestic abuse why don't you write about the Niners McDonald? There is no story here with Hardy. He has done his time X 4 according to the rules when he was arrested.

Anonymous said...

We have to quit throwing the baby out with the bath water. All these cases are not the same. First court decision is as if it never happended since his appeal for jury to hear it but frankly in the court of public opinion, it stands. He should be back on the field at this point. Frankly if found not guilty, NFL should take cover. They have basically sat him for something he was found not guilty over if that becomes the case and I hope he cleans their clock.

Anonymous said...

To add to the already overwhelming comments in favor of Hardy being allowed to play, the first "conviction" by a judge i IMMEDIATELY revoked as soon as Hardy requested a jury trial. So that puts him right back to innocent until PROVEN guilty, and any respectable business would not ethically initiate any punishments till he is found guilty, unless we are back in colonial Salem. Here is the simple facts. If the ray Rice incident had not happened, Greg would have been on the field while awaiting his trial. Public pressure is driving this. Politics and media as usual. No one is discounting Greg does not have ownership in this, but he is not being treated fairly by the NFL for sure.

James Edgar said...

I couldn't disagree more.

Why? Because Hardy isn't guilty. The only possible way the judge came to a guilty verdict is that she hates athletes, or hates men. Not one single shred of evidence was presented. The prosecution's entire case is, "she said he beat her up and threatened to kill her."

C'mon now, if he really picked her up over his head (that would be about 7.5 feet in the air) and threw her into a tub, it is a logistical impossibility for someone as small as her to emerge from that with no broken bones. If he picked her up over his head and threw her on a couch covered with guns, it would be impossible for her to not have bruises, at the minimum. Where are the photos of the bruised body? Where are the x-rays of the broken bones she would have had to have suffered? There is no way she could show up at the trial looking like she had just stepped off the set of America's Next Top Model like she did if she really endured the things she accuses him of.

When the trial does happen, the jury will acquit him in about 15 minutes.

So yes, Hardy should be playing right now.