The NFL announced Thursday that former United States District Judge Barbara S. Jones has been appointed by the league to hear and decide the suspension appeal filed by the NFL Players Association on behalf of Ray Rice.
“We are grateful to Judge Jones for taking on this role,” said league commissioner Roger Goodell, who suspended the former Ravens running back indefinitely after video came out Sept. 8 of Rice assaulting his then-fiancee. “She will have our full cooperation as she hears and decides this appeal.”
Goodell was asked by the players’ union to recuse himself from the hearing because he’ll likely be a witness in the case. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said that Goodell never planned to hear the appeal.
Goodell and NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith collaborated on the selection of the appeals officer, and the union agreed to the selection of Jones.
Jones, who is currently a partner in the law firm of Zuckerman Spaeder, served in the southern district of New York from 1996 to 2013. She’s also served as an attorney in the Department of Justice, an assistant U.S. attorney in the southern district of New York and chief assistant district in Manhattan.
There has been no word yet on when Rice's appeal will be heard.
He was released by the Ravens on the same day the video came out, before Goodell announced the indefinite suspension.