ATLANTA — Ray Rice, the disgraced NFL tailback now hoping to get back into the NFL, will be speaking to Georgia’s football team on Monday night.
“We’re trying to use every education piece we can with our players,” said head coach Kirby Smart, who met with Rice earlier in the day. “He’s very good at speaking to a group. From experience, he’s talked to others, I’ve had people call and tell me he’s a really good resource, not only with the domestic violence bit, but being a player in general. College athlete, successful pro athlete, who’s now looking to do things after that if he doesn’t get on a team this year.
“It was really vital for us to get him in now because he’s probably going to be in an (NFL) camp. So his message can kind of cross a lot of genres. So I’m excited to be able to get him in.”
Rice, 29, has been out of the NFL since Sept. 2014, when the Baltimore Ravens released him following the controversy. He has yet to be signed by another team, and last week told USA Today that if he did return to the NFL he would donate his entire salary to charities related to domestic violence.
The issue of domestic violence has taken on a greater intensity in college football this year, with the Baylor scandal leading to the removal of Art Briles as head coach.
Smart was asked Monday if he’s going to have a policy on if a player hits a woman or is accused of hitting a woman. Smart pointed to university policy and a “standard outline we’ll follow as a staff.”
“Obviously we don’t want our players hitting women,” Smart said. “Obviously we don’t condone that behavior. We’ve got to educate our players in a way that that doesn’t happen. But we don’t have anything laid-out, stipulated. We’ve got a process we go through as an athletic department as a whole.”