On Friday an arbitrator pulled the plug on any dream that Adrian Peterson, the suspended Minnesota Vikings running back, had of returning to a National Football League playing field anytime soon.
Harold Henderson, a former NFL executive vice president for labor relations and the hearing officer appointed by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, ruled that Peterson must remain away from the league and all team activities until at least April 15, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports.
“I conclude that the player has not demonstrated that the process and procedures surrounding his discipline were not fair and consistent,” Henderson wrote of Peterson in an eight-page letter explaining his decision, according to the newspaper. “He was afforded all the protections and rights to which he is entitled, and I find no basis to vacate or reduce the discipline.”
Peterson will be eligible to return in April if he fulfills requirements set last month by Goodell when he suspended Peterson for the rest of the regular season, accordign to the news site. The only way for the league’s 2012 Most Valuable Player to return sooner is if he pursues a legal appeal, the report says.
Goodell suspended Peterson on Nov. 18 after his no-contest plea in Houston to a misdemeanor charge of reckless assault. He was indicted by a Texas grand jury in September on a felony charge of abuse after injuring his 4-year-old son by whipping him with a “switch,” the report notes. But Peterson appealed the suspension, saying that an NFL official had promised he would get credit for “time served,” plus a two-game suspension.
The episode is proving costly for Peterson, who must forfeit six game checks from the 2014 season, costing him $4.1 million of his $11.75 million salary.
In an interview with ESPN, Peterson compared his case to that of Ray Rice, the former Baltimore Ravens running back whose indefinite suspension in a domestic assault case was overturned by an independent arbitrator Dec. 1, the report says.
Read more at the Star-Tribune.