Panthers' Greg Hardy takes voluntary leave of absence

Panthers' Greg Hardy takes indefinite leave of absence pending resolution of domestic violence case.

By Danielle Haynes

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 17 (UPI) -- Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy agreed to take a voluntary paid leave of absence until a domestic violence case involving an ex-girlfriend is resolved, the team said Wednesday.

Hardy was found guilty in July on misdemeanor charges of communicating threats and assault on a female in July stemming from an incident involving his ex-girlfriend in May.


He appealed the ruling and is awaiting a jury trial scheduled to begin Nov. 17. Though he wasn't suspended for the incident by the NFL, he was deactivated from the Panthers' home opener against the Detroit Lions on Sunday.

Instead of being suspended by the league until the case is resolved, Hardy agreed to a paid leave of absence. He will be placed on the commissioner exempt list, Panthers General Manager Dave Gettleman said.

"I understand that I need to step away from football right now and take care of this legal matter," Hardy said in a statement. "I am entitled to due process and my day in court, and that's where my focus should be. ... I am disappointed to leave my teammates and the Carolina Panthers organization during our season."


Hardy's leave comes amid intense scrutiny into how the NFL handles players accused of domestic violence.

The NFL on Monday announced it hired three experts in the field of domestic violence to serve as senior advisors to the league.

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