Ravens running back Ray Rice’s arrest and charge of simple assault-domestic violence in Atlantic City will be reviewed by the league under the NFL personal-conduct policy, Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun reports. This according to a league source.
Under the policy, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has wide discretion on punishing players regardless of how legal situations are adjudicated.
Goodell once suspended Steelers star Ben Roethlisberger during the 2010 season for six games, which was later reduced to four games, after the quarterback was investigated for an alleged sexual assault in Georgia. Roethlisberger was never charged with a crime.
NFL discipline can include suspensions, fines, banishment from the league, a probationary period where conditions have to be satisfied before reinstatement or a formal reprimand.
A player doesn’t have to be convicted of a crime to be punished under the NFL policy. The NFL can choose to levy discipline if the player pleads guilty or no contest to a lesser offense or disposes of a case through a diversionary program, deferred adjudication, a conditional dismissal or receives probation.
Generally, repeat offenders are dealt with much more harshly under the personal-conduct policy.