Former Ravens standout Ray Rice has finally made his way back to a career in football. It’s just not exactly what he was aspiring for.
A reporter with News12 Long Island, a 24-hour local TV station based in New York, reported yesterday afternoon that Rice has officially joined the football coaching staff at New Rochelle High School, the same one from which he graduated in 2005. After volunteering as a mentor there for the last three years, he’s now the school’s running backs coach. He’s still a volunteer, according to The Journal News.
Rice was infamously pushed out of the NFL in 2014 after TMZ released video of him assaulting his then-fiancée Janay Palmer (now Janay Rice, his wife) seven months earlier in an elevator at an Atlantic City, N.J. casino. The scene was disturbing: Rice was seen striking her and knocking her out, then dragging her from the elevator.
The Ravens subsequently released their running back, who recorded nearly 6,200 yards, scored 43 touchdowns and helped them win a Super Bowl during his six years with the team. The NFL suspended Rice indefinitely, but dropped the punishment after Rice won an appeal. He also got his aggravated assault charge dropped by completing community service. However, he never received another tryout for an NFL franchise.
But even two months ago, Rice, 30, sounded intent on making it back into the league. He told reporters at a Torrey Smith’s March charity basketball game here in Baltimore, “I’m never giving up and never giving in.”
New Rochelle High School football coach Lou DiRienzo told The Journal News that not a whole lot has changed, since Rice had already been working with players there since 2014. However, DiRienzo was quoted as saying that “now that [Rice] has more time, he’s taking more of an active role.”
Rice has worked hard to atone for his highly public scandal for several years. He speaks regularly to high school, college and pro players, and even offered to donate his entire salary to domestic violence programs if he could get work playing in the NFL again.
At Smith’s charity game this spring, Rice was coy about why he hasn’t been let back in the league: “The reason why I’m not playing football, you do the dots. It ain’t because I’m a bad football player. That’s just keeping it real.”