Goodell testifies for two-plus hours at Rice hearing

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Goodell testifies for two-plus hours at Rice hearing
Ray Rice released a statement Friday apologizing for the domestic issue incident that led to his dismissal from the Ravens.
Janay Rice (middle) speaks with Matt Lauer, of NBC News. (Today/NBC News)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 05: Suspended Baltimore Ravens football player Ray Rice (R) and his wife Janay Palmer arrive for a hearing on November 5, 2014 in New York City. Rice is fighting his suspension after being caught beating his wife in an Atlantic City casino elevator in February 2014. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 05: Suspended Baltimore Ravens football player Ray Rice (R) and his wife Janay Palmer arrive for a hearing on November 5, 2014 in New York City. Rice is fighting his suspension after being caught beating his wife in an Atlantic City casino elevator in February 2014. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 05: Suspended Baltimore Ravens football player Ray Rice (R) and his wife Janay Palmer arrive for a hearing on November 5, 2014 in New York City. Rice is fighting his suspension after being caught beating his wife in an Atlantic City casino elevator in February 2014. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 05: Suspended Baltimore Ravens football player Ray Rice (R) and his wife Janay Palmer arrive for a hearing on November 5, 2014 in New York City. Rice is fighting his suspension after being caught beating his wife in an Atlantic City casino elevator in February 2014. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
OWINGS MILLS, MD - MAY 23: Running back Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens pauses while addressing a news conference with his wife Janay at the Ravens training center on May 23, 2014 in Owings Mills, Maryland. Rice spoke publicly for the first time since facing felony assault charges stemming from a February incident involving Janay at an Atlantic City casino. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Ravens running back Ray Rice and his wife Janay made statements to the news media May 5, 2014, at the Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills, Md, regarding his assault charge for knocking her unconscious in a New Jersey casino. On Monday, Sept. 9, 2014, Rice was let go from the Baltimore Ravens after a video surfaced from TMZ showing the incident. (Kenneth K. Lam/Baltimore Sun/MCT via Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 16: Ray Rice #27 of the Baltimore Ravens sits on the bench against the Dallas Cowboys in the first half of their preseason game at AT&T Stadium on August 16, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 16: Ray Rice #27 of the Baltimore Ravens smiles during warm ups before their game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on August 16, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
OWINGS MILLS, MD - MAY 23: Baltimore Ravens assistant director of public relations Patrick M. Gleason holds the door as running back Ray Rice enter a news conference followed by his wife Janay Rice and Ravens team President Dick Cass at the Ravens training center on May 23, 2014 in Owings Mills, Maryland. Rice spoke publicly for the first time since facing felony assault charges stemming from a February incident involving Janay at an Atlantic City casino. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
SANTA CLARA, CA - JULY 17: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sits in the crowd during the the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for Levi Stadium on July 17, 2014 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
Maine Governor Paul LePage in his office at the State House in Augusta. LePage, who was beaten by his father when he was young and has made domestic abuse prevention and awareness a priority of his administration, wrote a scathing letter to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell about the controversial two-game suspension levied on Ray Rice after a domestic incident involving his wife at a N.J. hotel.
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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell testified for more than two hours to start Ray Rice's appeal hearing on Wednesday, a person familiar with the case told The Associated Press.

Rice and his wife, Janay, will testify on Thursday at the offices of former U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones in New York, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because Jones has told both sides not to discuss details of the private hearing. The source said Goodell spent much of his testimony under cross examination by Rice's attorneys.

Rice spent nearly 10 hours at the hearing, which took place nearly two months after the former Pro Bowl running back was suspended indefinitely by the NFL and released by the Baltimore Ravens.

League security chief Jeffery Miller and Ravens President Dick Cass are among the key witnesses expected to testify in the two-day hearing.

Goodell Testifies At Rice Hearing

Rice was suspended indefinitely Sept. 8 for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy after a video of him hitting his then-fiancee was released publicly.

Rice is seeking immediate reinstatement, though it's unlikely a team would sign him this season. Rice has also filed a separate wrongful termination grievance against the Ravens.

It's uncertain how long Jones will take to make a decision, but she's not expected to make it on Thursday, the source said.

Goodell originally suspended the running back for two games. The incident occurred inside an elevator at an Atlantic City casino in February. The couple married a month later.

The league considered the video made public after the initial suspension to be new evidence, giving Goodell the authority to amend Rice's punishment. But Rice's attorneys are arguing he should not be disciplined twice, citing the collective bargaining agreement.

Rice's side also is arguing that he described details of the incident to Goodell when they met in June. Goodell has called Rice's description "ambiguous" while the player's representatives have maintained he gave exact details.

Jones was jointly picked by the commissioner and the players' union to hear the appeal. Though it isn't a criminal case, Jones ruled witness will testify under oath. Transcripts of the testimony will not be released publicly, the source said.

Rice, a three-time Pro Bowl pick, played in two preseason games for the Ravens this year. His last carry was a 6-yard run against San Francisco on Aug. 7.

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