NFL, union at odds over Peterson

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Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson refused to appear Friday at a scheduled disciplinary hearing with the NFL, a league official told ESPN.

Peterson and the NFL Players Association also refused to meet at any time in the past week.

The NFL also charged that Peterson would not give the league an alternative date for the disciplinary hearing in connection to his child-abuse case in Texas.

The scheduled hearing was a different, more significant one than the conference call set for 2 p.m. ET Monday, when Peterson's grievance relating to remaining on the commissioner's exempt list will be heard. The Friday meeting was the one that would have been for a disciplinary decision on Peterson's past and future.

The Friday meeting initially was scheduled last Tuesday, but the NFLPA told the league Thursday that it was unavailable that day, the league official told ESPN. Had the hearing happened on Friday, the NFL could have ruled, but it would not have nullified Monday's grievance hearing.

USA Today Sports, citing a person with knowledge of the situation, reported Saturday that Peterson told the league Thursday he would meet with commissioner Roger Goodell to discuss potential discipline but wouldn't attend Friday's league-scheduled hearing due to unanswered questions about the process, including the role of outside experts.

The league wouldn't postpone the hearing, according to the report.

"We informed the union that we were unwilling to postpone the hearing beyond this week given that the player and union had both expressed a strong desire to resolve this matter as soon as possible, and we had been given no meaningful reason why Adrian and the union could not appear and participate," a league official told ESPN. "We offered other alternatives for this week, but those also were not acceptable. We also have yet to receive more than cursory materials in response to our requests for information on the case. Accordingly, we went forward with the review on Friday as scheduled.

"We had hoped that Adrian would take advantage of his opportunity to be heard and present whatever information he believes should be considered before a decision on discipline, counseling and services is made. Because he and the NFLPA elected not to do so, we will have to address this based on the information currently available to us."

NFLPA spokesman George Atallah said Peterson's attorney, Rusty Hardin, provided the NFL with a letter saying it is against Texas state law to give the NFL the requested documents.

The NFLPA also said it made Peterson's clinician available to the NFL.

"The league office seems more focused on creating an arbitrary disciplinary process for Adrian instead of honoring a signed agreement to remove him from the commissioner's list," Atallah said in an email Saturday. "They are simply making stuff up as they go along. They should commit their efforts to meeting us at the table to collectively bargain a new personal conduct policy."

Montgomery County (Texas) District Attorney Phil Grant told ESPN that the NFL did ask for Peterson's case file but was turned down.

"The judge sealed the entire courts file despite the fact that neither side requested that. We have not provided anything to the NFL and don't believe we lawfully can," Grant said.

Information from ESPN's Michele Steele was used in this report.