|2013 Regular Season|
The NFL announced Friday that longtime hearing officer Harold Henderson will preside over the proceedings involving the Minnesota Vikings star running back. Goodell has the authority to decide whether to hear the appeal himself or appoint someone else. Peterson has not played since the opening week of the season while dealing with child abuse allegations in Texas.
In a letter to its player representatives and executive committee obtained by The Associated Press on Thursday, the NFLPA calls Commissioner Roger Goodell's punishment "unprecedented, arbitrary, and unlawful" and demands an independent, neutral arbitrator hears Peterson's case.
The league said Tuesday it informed the Minnesota Vikings running back he will not be considered for reinstatement before April 15 for violating the NFL personal conduct policy. The NFL Players Association quickly announced its plan to appeal the punishment. Peterson pleaded no contest Nov. 4 to misdemeanor reckless assault in Texas for injuries to his 4-year-old son he was disciplining. He had been on paid leave from the team since Sept. 17.
Peterson has been on the commissioner's exempt list since Sept. 18 following his indictment for felony child abuse in Texas. The running back pleaded no contest last week to a lesser charge of misdemeanor reckless assault, freeing him from the court system provided he fulfills his probation terms.
Peterson pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of reckless assault under the deal that Montgomery County state District Judge Kelly Case approved during a court hearing. A no contest plea isn't an admission of guilt but is treated as such for sentencing.
Mary Flood, a spokeswoman for Peterson attorney Rusty Hardin, said Tuesday the recusal hearing for Montgomery County District Judge Kelly Case has been rescheduled for Oct. 22. Retired Tarrant County District Judge Jeff Walker will preside. Peterson is charged with injury to a child for using a wooden switch to discipline his 4-year-old son. A not guilty plea is expected.
Mary Flood, a spokeswoman for Peterson's attorney, Rusty Hardin, said Tuesday that if asked at the hearing, Peterson will plead not guilty to a charge of injury to a child. Peterson says he never intended to harm his 4-year-old son by spanking him with a tree branch earlier this year.
Peterson faces a child abuse charge in Texas for using a wooden switch to spank the boy in May. He's said he meant only to discipline the boy and not hurt him. The order says Peterson told investigators in Texas that he also used a belt to spank his son. Hennepin County authorities have also asked that the order be suspended until the Texas case is resolved.
Peterson issued his statement on Monday a few hours after the Minnesota Vikings reinstated him to the team. Peterson was charged last weekend after he struck his 4-year-old son with a tree branch as a form of discipline earlier this summer.
The Vikings made the announcement early Wednesday morning after initially deciding that Peterson could play with the team while the legal process played out. Peterson is charged with a felony for using a wooden switch to spank his 4-year-old son. The Vikings came under heavy criticism for their initial stance. And several sponsors responded by either suspending their deals with the Vikings or severing ties with Peterson.