Roughriders say they've 'moved on' from player accused of domestic violence
Head coach Chris Jones confirms team talked to CFL about Greg Hardy
The head coach of the Saskatchewan Roughriders is addressing questions about Greg Hardy, a U.S. player with allegations of domestic violence in his background.
Chris Jones, who is the team's general manager as well as head coach, told reporters Tuesday that Hardy contacted the Riders in spring.
"Greg Hardy inquired to us back during camp and it was about a six-hour discussion," Jones said. "The league made their ruling on it and we moved on."
Jones said the timing of the story coming out when it did "seems a little interesting to me" and he reiterated the timeline between the Riders, Hardy, and the CFL.
"He was interested in coming up. I inquired with the league. The league made their ruling, and you can talk to (CFL commissioner) Jeffrey Orridge and those guys if you need to have more info on it."
However, a CFL spokesperson told CBC late this afternoon that although they had a discussion with the team, the Riders actually made the call.
"The decision whether to pursue a player rests with the organization. And in this case, while the league did discuss the matter with the Riders, it was ultimately the organization's decision to not place Hardy on the Riders' negotiation list in May."
Hardy is a former defensive end with the Carolina Panthers and Dallas Cowboys who is currently an unsigned free agent.
He was once suspended in connection with domestic violence allegations.
He was charged with assaulting an ex-girlfriend and convicted in 2014, but after he appealed, the prosecutor dropped the charge and it was expunged from his record.
CFL has policy on violence against women
The CFL unveiled a policy on violence against women, including domestic violence, last year. It includes authority to impose sanctions on players or employees who violate the policy.
Quite honestly, you wouldn't have a league if all the guys who had some type of past transgression in high school or junior college or college [weren't allowed to play].- Riders' head coach Chris Jones
Jones was also asked about Riders' cornerback Justin Cox, who also has allegations of domestic abuse in his background. Asked whether the team looks at such things when it acquires players, Jones said it does.
"Absolutely we look at it," Jones said. "I have known some people who have known Justin Cox since high school and had a lot of thorough investigation done on his background."
Jones said he was satisfied with the results of that scrutiny and reiterated that the team takes domestic assault charges and convictions very seriously.
"Quite honestly, you wouldn't have a league if all the guys who had some type of past transgression in high school or junior college or college [weren't allowed to play]," he said. "You wouldn't have a CFL."