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Appeals court rules against Elliott, clears way for suspension

13 October 2017

Bad news for the Dallas Cowboys. a federal appeals court has ruled Ezekiel Elliott's 6-game suspension is back on.

The judges voted 2-1 to grant the NFL's emergency request and ordered the U.S. Eastern District Court in Sherman to dismiss Elliott's case.

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The vacated ruling means Elliott's suspension could start after the bye, though Elliott's team and the NFLPA will file for an injunction in the Southern District of NY in hopes the running back can keep playing. That includes whether Henderson and the league acted fairly when they didn't require NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell or Elliott's accuser, Tiffany Thompson, to testify at Elliott's appeal hearing.

The NFL, maintaining that it adhered properly to the sport's disciplinary procedures, quickly sought the intervention of the New Orleans-based appeals court. Elliott is expected to now take his case to the Southern District of NY, which is viewed as a more favorable court for the NFL.

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Instead, he could begin serving his six-game suspension stemming from domestic violence allegations his ex-girlfriend made against him in 2016. Mazzant ruled in favor of the NFLPA, saying in his decision that the National Football League did not give Elliott a "fundamentally fair hearing". U.S. District Judge Amos L. Mazzant granted the NFLPA's request for a preliminary injunction. He may have to serve his suspension, effective immediately. Prosecutors in Columbus, Ohio, decided not to pursue the case in the city where Elliott starred for Ohio State, citing conflicting evidence.

The Court of Appeals ruled against the injuction Thursday, overruling the district court's decision.

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The ruling finds that the NFLPA was premature in filing a lawsuit on Elliott's behalf before arbitrator Harold Henderson ruled on Elliott's appeal and that the district court "lacked subject matter jurisdiction when it issued the preliminary injunction" as a result.

Appeals court rules against Elliott, clears way for suspension