NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said today that the league continues to monitor Ravens running back Ray Rice's pending domestic violence case, indicating no timetable or decision on whether Rice will be punished by the league.
When asked during a news conference today in Orlando, Fla., at the NFL league meetings whether the case is being watched by the NFL and whether Rice will be disciplined, Goodell said: "Yes, and I don’t know on the second part. We’ll let the facts dictate that."
Days after Rice and his fiancee, Janay Palmer, were arrested and charged with simple assault-domestic violence following a February altercation at an Atlantic City casino, the NFL told The Baltimore Sun that the legal situation would be reviewed under its personal-conduct policy.
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The Atlantic County Prosecutor's office confirmed Wednesday that it's still reviewing the Rice case. No court date has been assigned at this time.
A suspension, a fine, or no discipline from the NFL are all possible outcomes for Rice as the legal process unfolds.
In the past, the NFL has suspended players under the personal conduct policy even if they're not charged or convicted of a crime, including a suspension. In 2010, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was suspended without pay for six games for violating the NFL personal-conduct policy after he was investigated, but not charged for an alleged sexual assault against a woman in Georgia. The suspension for Roethlisberger was later reduced to four games.
Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti told Sun reporter Jeff Zrebiec on Monday that the arrest of Rice was "embarrassing and disappointing," but said the team is sticking with the three-time Pro Bowl runner.
"Ray will be here," Bisciotti said. "This is a singular moment six years after we drafted him. It’s embarrassing for him and his fiancée. It is especially hard to see somebody that is proud of his reputation have to take this kind of public relations hit. I don’t think there’s a more admired kid that we drafted than Ray Rice. We’re embarrassed and we’re disappointed, but no more than he is.
"I think what you have to do, when you look at the character of the man, is to see how he handles it and how he handles himself going forward to determine whether this is a bad person doing bad things or a good person doing something bad. I think he and his fiancée are both disappointed in themselves and embarrassed by it. Unfortunately, he’s going to live with that for the rest of his life, but if I know Ray Rice as well as I think I do, It will work out to be a positive for us and him."