Baltimore Ravens release former Rutgers running back Ray Rice
Seventeen months after a leaked video cost Mike Rice his job at Rutgers, Ray Rice has met the same fate in the NFL.
The Baltimore Ravens released the running back mid-afternoon yesterday, just hours after a video published by TMZ revealed Rice punching his then-fiancée and now-wife, Janay Palmer, back on Feb. 15 in an elevator at the Revel Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City.
The NFL has also suspended Rice indefinitely.
The 3 ½-minutes of footage show the former Rutgers football player strike Palmer in the face, knocking her into the elevator handrail. She then fell to the ground unconscious, and Rice proceeded to nonchalantly pull Palmer out of the elevator.
The NFL had previously suspended Rice for two games on July 25 for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.
At that time, the only footage of the incident made public was from outside the elevator, which only showed Rice dragging Palmer unconscious. The two married a month later.
Still, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s prior decision to suspend Rice for only two games met plenty of public scrutiny, which cited a lack of sufficient discipline for domestic violence.
“We requested from law enforcement any and all information about the incident, including the video from inside the elevator,” yesterday’s statement from the NFL read. “That video was not made available to us and no one in our office has seen it until today.”
Shortly after 11 a.m., prior to Rice’s dismissal from the Ravens, Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood addressed TMZ’s explicit footage.
“The video I saw this morning was difficult to watch,” Flood said. “As a husband and as a father, there’s nothing that could justify what I saw on that video. This is a sad day for Ray and a sad day for Rutgers.”
Pressed on the issue of Rice’s video tribute at High Point Solutions Stadium, which has been part of a compilation of a “Knights in the NFL” video that plays between the first and second quarter at every home game, Flood said a decision would be made later in the week.
But in the evening, after news broke of Rice's indefinite suspension from the NFL, nj.com reported through school officials that Rice will indeed be removed from the video beginning this Saturday against Penn State because he is "not currently a player" on an NFL roster.
Rutgers also removed Rice from its list of 18 former Knights currently in the NFL on scarletknights.com.
Rice starred at Rutgers from 2005-07, when he became the Scarlet Knights’ all-time leading rusher with 4,926 yards and 49 touchdowns. After Rice surpassed the 2,000-yard mark his junior year in 2007, the Ravens selected him in the second round of the 2008 NFL Draft.
The three-time Pro Bowler has since put together four 1,000-yard rushing seasons, winning a Super Bowl ring in 2013.
For all those accomplishments, though, all that matters now is a much more serious issue.
“Family is family, but at Rutgers we hold ourselves to an extremely high standard,” Flood said. “We expect a lot out of our players, we expect a lot out of the coaches and the staff members we have here in the Hale Center and we expect a lot out of our alumni. I think because of those expectations, this is a sad day.”
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