Former Rutgers star and NFL running back Ray Rice was on campus at Don Bosco Prep Monday, sparking a rumor that Rice was accepting a coaching job at Don Bosco. The rumor spread after a tweet by ESPN reporter and New Jersey native Dianna Russini spread around the internet.
SportingNews.com and several other websites ran with the story citing ESPN as their source, Ray Rice has a new job in football.
ESPN quickly wrote a correction in their website hours later; which Russini tweeted a link to, Monday night.
— Dianna Russini (@diannaESPN) April 4, 2017
ESPN, citing two sources, reported Monday that Rice would work with the Don Bosco Prep football team. Players, the sources said, had the understanding that Rice was going to coach them and be part of the program. The school and Rice both denied the report.
Teel told NJ.com that Rice will not have an official role at the school.
“Ray is not coaching at Don Bosco,” Teel said. “He came and talked to my team today — nothing more. He’s got a great story. He’s one of my best friends.”
“I just went to talk to the team,” Rice wrote in a text.
Teel, who was the quarterback at Rutgers from 2005-08, was named head coach at Don Bosco earlier this year.
Rice volunteers with the New Rochelle high school football team during the year and with the offseason weightlifting program. His Rutgers jersey still hangs on the wall there. Rice addressed his old high school team on Friday and talked to the students about decision-making and perseverance.
“Ray continues to receive invitations to speak to top college and high school programs,” his spokesperson said.
Another source close to Rice also confirmed to NJ Advance Media that Rice was only on campus to speak with the Don Bosco football players, as he frequently does throughout the year with many high school and college teams.
“His message was great,” said Teel. “He’s a guy that shows exactly what it means to be a professional and handle everything the right way when things don’t go in your favor.”
Don Bosco Prep Director/President Jim Heuser sent out a letter dated Tuesday, April 4 flatly denying any report that former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice had been hired by the Ramsey, New Jersey, school.
“This meeting was mischaracterized by media reports to suggest there was some more permanent role for Ray Rice at DBP. This is not now, nor ever was, the case,” wrote Heuser.
The letter stated that Rice was on campus Monday to speak on the topic of domestic violence. Heuser said in the letter, which was obtained by NorthJersey.com Tuesday night, that the topic is not often discussed with young men.
“The goal of the meeting was to have our players listen and learn about the devastating effect Ray’s actions had for his family and for his own life, as well as to hear about his commitment to rehabilitation,” stated Heuser.
Rice, a former Pro Bowl running back for the Baltimore Ravens and Heisman Trophy candidate at Rutgers, was cut by the Ravens in 2014 after video surfaced of him punching his then-fiancee, now-wife Janay Rice in an Atlantic City casino in February of that year – an assault he was arrested for. Several of Rice’s attempts for an NFL comeback have been unsuccessful.
He has not given up on playing professional football again. One thing is for sure, there is still much interest in Ray Rice possible future in football. Rightfully so, Rice, a second-round pick of the Ravens in 2008, was a three-time Pro Bowler and led the NFL in yards from scrimmage in 2011. He ran for 1,143 the following season while helping the Ravens win Super Bowl XLVII.