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November 7, 2007

Hardy statement - I want to return

Standout defensive end Greg Hardy has been suspended for the last two Ole Miss football games, and on Wednesday, he released a statement saying he wants back on the team.

Hardy's e-mail outlined the mistakes he admitted to that led to his suspension and said he wants back on the team.

In the statement Hardy said he has done nothing "illegal, immoral or unethical" and is working to regain the trust of the team and hopes he can soon return.

Hardy's issues surfaced when he didn't make the trip to Auburn two weeks ago. Sources told RebelSports.net that Hardy had missed practice earlier in the week before the Auburn game - one of several instances of missed practices and meetings - and was warned by the staff that one more instance of being late or missing meetings would result in his suspension. Hardy then missed the team meeting before it departed for Auburn.

Hardy said the reason for his suspension was because of a "lack of diligence on my part with my coaches regarding meetings and practices."

Hardy has not been allowed to practice since the suspension, but head coach Ed Orgeron hinted at his press conference on Tuesday that Hardy could return for the last two games.

Hardy still leads the Southeastern Conference in tackles for a loss per game and sacks despite missing two games and being not playing during some period of other games.

The full text of Hardy's statement follows:

"I would like to congratulate my teammates and coaches for last weekend's win over Northwestern State. It hurt me considerably to not be with my teammates to support them, and it is an even greater pain to not be on the field, performing with them and sharing in the victory.

"I fully understand my mistakes, and take complete responsibility, for any distraction or negative impact, my situation has caused.

"There has been speculation regarding the reasons and circumstances that led to my absence from the team. I want everyone to know that my absence does not involve anything illegal, immoral, or unethical. It is the result of miscommunication and lack of diligence on my part with my coaches regarding meetings and practices. I have taken full responsibility and am currently trying to prove to Coach Orgeron, the rest of the coaching staff, and my teammates that I can be relied upon to meet my commitments as a player, teammate, and student-athlete in general.

"During the past week, I have had much time to reflect. While I have matured significantly since coming to Ole Miss, I recognize that I still have some growing up to do. And I look forward to doing some tremendous things here at Ole Miss, while realizing the true blessings - and responsibilities - that come with being a student-athlete.

"My family has a proud tradition at Ole Miss. I plan to continue that tradition by working diligently in the classroom - continuing on pace to graduate ahead of my anticipated graduation date - and, when granted the opportunity, by returning as soon as possible to the football team."






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