Adrian Peterson Suspended Without Pay For Remainder Of 2014 NFL Season
Adrian Peterson, the star Minnesota Vikings running back who had been facing child abuse charges, has been suspended by the NFL for the remainder of the 2014 season without pay.
In a statement, the NFL said Peterson will not be considered for reinstatement before April 15.
The league said it suspended Peterson "for violating the NFL Personal Conduct Policy in an incident of abusive discipline that he inflicted on his four-year-old son last May."
On November 4, Peterson reached a plea agreement with prosecutors in state court in Montgomery County, Texas, to resolve his child abuse case.
According to the league, Commissioner Roger Goodell sent a letter to Peterson stating his reinstatement "will be based on the results of the counseling and treatment program set forth in this decision. Under this two-step approach, the precise length of the suspension will depend on your actions. We are prepared to put in place a program that can help you to succeed, but no program can succeed without your genuine and continuing engagement. You must commit yourself to your counseling and rehabilitative effort, properly care for your children, and have no further violations of law or league policy."
As recently as Sunday, Peterson had complained about the NFL's disciplinary process, calling it "without fairness or accountability."
The NFL Players Association issued a statement Sunday on behalf of Peterson, who has been sidelined since his indictment for child abuse in September.
"At this point, I've resolved my matter in the criminal court; I've worked to make amends for what I've done; I've missed most of the season, and I stand ready to be candid and forthcoming with Mr. Goodell about what happened," Peterson's statement read. "However, I will not allow the NFL to impose a new process of discipline on me, ignore the (Collective Bargaining Agreement), ignore the deal they agreed to with me, and behave without fairness or accountability."
Peterson was indicted in September on a felony charge of injury to a child for using a wooden switch to discipline his 4-year-old son earlier this year in suburban Houston. The All-Pro running back says he never intended to harm his son and was disciplining him in the same way he had been as a child growing up in East Texas.
The boy suffered cuts, marks and bruising to his thighs, back and on one of his testicles, according to court records.
As part of his plea agreement in the case, Peterson will pay a $4,000 fine, perform 80 hours of community service, and be placed on deferred adjudication for two years, CBS Dallas-Forth Worth reported.
The case revived a debate about corporal punishment, which is on the decline in the U.S. but still widely practiced in homes and schools.
Under the agreement approved by Montgomery County state District Judge Kelly Case and announced during a scheduled court hearing, Peterson pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of reckless assault.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.