The first full-fledged practice of the Ravens 2014 training camp will get underway this morning at 8:30 and still there is no news about the expected suspension of Ray Rice from Roger Goodell’s office.
The absence of any announcement begs the question, “What is taking so long?”
Lately Goodell has opted to allow the judicial process to take the lead before issuing any fines and/or suspensions.
Rice’s case may be particularly tricky.
The NFL is keen on expanding its market, penetrating new demographics and they’ve done an outstanding job drawing in female fans. One only has to look around the league during the month of October to see playing fields splashed in pink.
Rice’s case flies in the face of this developing audience. If the commissioner hands out a punishment that activist groups consider too light, there could be a backlash and the league’s efforts to draw in women could be dealt a measurable setback.
If the Commish is too heavy-handed relative to the legal outcome of the case, the player’s union could be severely agitated.
The court of public opinion hasn’t been kind to Rice. Most believe there is damning video evidence stored on some highly guarded hard drive that would really send Rice’s Q-rating tumbling to new depths.
But if that’s the case, why would the court system allow Rice to enter into the Pretrial Intervention Program?
If Rice completes the PTI it will result in the dismissal of charges.
The conditions of the program read: “If a defendant successfully completes all the conditions of PTI, then the original charges are dismissed and there is no record of conviction.”
A successful completion would weigh heavily in Rice’s favor and could lighten the severity of the pending suspension – assuming there is one.
Jerrold Brotman, ESQ contributed to this article