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Ravens RB Rice receives 2-game suspension from NFL

Ray Rice Ruling Highlights The NFL's Suspension Problem

OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) -- Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice received a two-game suspension from the NFL on Thursday following his offseason arrest for domestic violence.

Rice will miss the season opener against AFC North champion Cincinnati on Sept. 7 and the Sept. 11 game on Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The six-year veteran was arrested following a Feb. 15 altercation in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in which he allegedly struck then-fiancee Janay Palmer. The 27-year-old Rice has been accepted into a diversion program, which upon completion could lead to the charges being expunged.

Rice met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell last month after joining the diversion program. Goodell ultimately decided to suspend the running back for two games without pay and fine him an additional game check "for conduct detrimental to the NFL in violation of the league's Personal Conduct Policy."

Despite the court's decision not to impose criminal punishment, "the Commissioner determined, as he advised Rice, that the conduct was incompatible with NFL policies and warranted disciplinary action."

In a letter to Rice, Goodell wrote: "As you acknowledged during our meeting, your conduct was unquestionably inconsistent with league polices and the standard of behavior required of everyone who is part of the NFL. The league is an entity that depends on integrity and in the confidence of the public and we simply cannot tolerate conduct that endangers others or reflects negatively on our game. This is particularly true with respect to domestic violence and other forms of violence against women."

Rice's suspension will begin on Aug. 30. He will be eligible for reinstatement Sept. 12 after the Pittsburgh game. Rice may participate in all aspects of training camp and preseason games.

"It is disappointing that I will not be with my teammates for the first two games of the season, but that's my fault," Rice said in a statement issued by the Ravens. "As I said earlier, I failed in many ways. But, Janay and I have learned from this. We have become better as a couple and as parents. I am better because of everything we have experienced since that night. The counseling has helped tremendously."

Rice is the team's career leader in total scrimmage yards and ranks behind only Jamal Lewis in total yards rushing.

Bernard Pierce is expected to start for Rice in Baltimore's first two games.

Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said in a statement: "We appreciate the thorough process the league office used to evaluate the incident with Ray Rice. The time the Commissioner spent with Ray and Janay is typical of the extra steps the NFL takes when making decisions regarding discipline issues. While not having Ray for the first two games is significant to our team, we respect the league's decision and believe it is fair."

He added, "We also respect the efforts Ray has made to become the best partner and father he can be. That night was not typical of the Ray Rice we know and respect. We believe that he will not let that one night define who he is, and he is determined to make sure something like this never happens again."

Rice's teammates were not stunned by the news of the suspension.

"You knew something was going to happen," wide receiver Torrey Smith said. "I'll be glad when those two games are up."

Coach John Harbaugh said, "It's part of the process. There are consequences when you make a mistake; we'll move forward."

Rice participated Thursday in Baltimore's first full-squad practice. Before that session began, the Ravens lost cornerback Aaron Ross for the season with a torn Achilles tendon, a mishap that occurred during his conditioning test.

Join the discussion

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blkcel00 July 24 2014 at 7:13 PM

So...in the NFL, if you get caught with weed,you're gone for the year. If you KO your wife and drag her around ON CAMERA, you get a couple of games and lose a paycheck. I guess women aren't all that important in Roger Goodell's eyes. This is a disgrace and an insult to women everywhere. Rice should be in jail.

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6 replies
goulding218 July 24 2014 at 5:08 PM

we have Zero tolerance in grade schools ( at least for some) these overpaid game players should be held to the same standard. NO drugs,, no violence,, no cheating.

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2 replies
jdsept goulding218 July 25 2014 at 6:56 AM

Overpaid? That make millions for owners, that's why they are paid what they get. The Bills if sold are thought to be worth 1billion. If you made your boss millions and made his business worth a billion, I am sure you would want your piece of the huge pie. These teams are owned by extremely successful people, who agree to these contracts. They don't give out what they don't get in return. If Sterling is forced to sell his team for 2 billion, that covers how many years of salary he paid out? And there is still the attendance money and TV revenue along with paraphilia revenue that he has gotten yearly. The players are what sells the tickets and brings in all the revenue.

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Dan goulding218 July 25 2014 at 9:52 AM

That zero tolerance in public schools applies to pupils (not faculty) and has gotten ridiculous. Point a finger and playfully say "bang bang" gets a child a 2 day suspension. A dull plasitc butterknife in a child's lunchbox is not a stilletto or a switchblade but will also get the child a suspension because it's a knife. A child with a box of cough drops in his pocket may get suspended for having drugs in school. "Zero tolerance" is all too often nothing more than by the book stupidity that fails to allow for common sense. ♣

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vietnamvet1967 July 24 2014 at 5:51 PM

And this stupid BROAD, married this guy.
Can we say Gold Digger, and could care less what he does

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6 replies
Jim July 24 2014 at 6:07 PM

What a joke! No Biggie slap your wife around and the almighty Godell slaps a star on the wrist with a 2 game suspension. Well now the Ravens have a RB who slaps his wife around and a QB who is tremendously overpaid and over rated , wow what a combo!

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2 replies
ckelsonsr Jim July 24 2014 at 6:33 PM

and a former player who was involved in a murder and turned on his friends to save his butt

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jdsept Jim July 24 2014 at 7:17 PM

The ravens paid their QB what they thought he worth at the time. When Price returns, the Raven fans will stand up and cheer. The NFL gives what its fans want. Isn't that their job?

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msggov July 24 2014 at 6:49 PM

There are many who would gladly play the game without stepping over the line. A two year suspension without pay would have been closer to a legitimate sentence.

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1 reply
jdsept msggov July 24 2014 at 7:18 PM

But would they play as well? When he steps onto the field will Raven fans cheer? YES The NFL gives what their fans want.

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1 reply
Denny jdsept July 24 2014 at 10:38 PM

Only Baltimore fans would cheer such a loser.

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jaynlbfinancial July 24 2014 at 7:18 PM

Zero tolerance is for everything but sports junkies, killers and wife beaters

Flag Reply +6 rate up
draavi July 24 2014 at 5:47 PM

What a load of crap-- he should lose a year!!!

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1 reply
ranger197172 draavi July 24 2014 at 7:53 PM

I was thinking lifetime ban.

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billcdaly July 24 2014 at 6:17 PM

Well at least THIS Raven didn't commit murder and get away with it.
I guess it must be the name Ray.
Maybe after his career, ESPN will hire him also.

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HCC11111 July 24 2014 at 5:48 PM

Just perfect. He needs an ass kicking. What a ***** hitting a woman

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2 replies
ranger197172 HCC11111 July 24 2014 at 7:54 PM

In his defense, she isn't much of a woman since she stayed with him.

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mspat1001 HCC11111 July 25 2014 at 11:23 AM

The ninute he raises a hand you leave, end of story.

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billcdaly July 24 2014 at 7:55 PM

Just following in that ( media created ) role model Ray Lewis. Maybe ESPN will hire him also.

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