SPORTS – Bobby Hart of the Buffalo Bills has been suspended without pay for one game for violations of unsportsmanlike conduct rules following Monday’s game against the Tennessee Titans.
NFL Vice President of Football Operations Jon Runyan issued the suspension for a violation of Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1 which prohibits unsportsmanlike conduct and applies to “any act which is contrary to the generally understood principles of sportsmanship including throwing a punch at an opponent.”
In a letter to Hart, Runyan wrote: “As both teams were heading to the tunnel, you walked directly across the field to seek out your opponent. You approached him near the end zone and a coach had to hold you back as others shook hands. Once you and your opponent were in the end zone near the tunnel, you confronted him and immediately swung at him with a closed fist, striking the head of a Tennessee coach. Your aggressive conduct could have caused serious injury and clearly does not reflect the high standards of sportsmanship expected of a professional.”
Hart will be eligible to return to the Bills’ active roster on Monday, September 26, following the team’s September 25 game against Miami.
Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Hart may appeal the suspension. Any appeal will be heard and decided by either Derrick Brooks or James Thrash, the hearing officers jointly appointed and compensated by the NFL and NFLPA to decide appeals of on-field player discipline.