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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Ravens bring in former RB Ray Rice to advise rookies 05.27.16 at 8:20 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Red Sox at Blue Jays, 7:07 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Dodgers at Mets, 7 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA playoffs: Cavaliers at Raptors, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN)
WNBA: Dream at Wings, 8:30 p.m. (NBA TV)
Soccer: Exhibition, England vs. Australia, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

Ray Rice

Ray Rice

— The Ravens apparently wanted to make sure their rookies understood the importance of staying out of trouble, so the team called in the one player most likely to get the young players’ attention: Ray Rice.

The former Ravens running back, who has been out of the league since video emerged of him punching out his then-fiancee in a hotel elevator in February 2014, lectured the team’s rookis Wednesday in his advisory role.

According to a story on the team’s website, Rice “made a terrible mistake” that caused him to be suspended and then released by the Ravens, who have since “dedicated themselves to the cause of domestic violence awareness and education.”

Explained the team in a statement: “Our 27 sessions to our rookies through our player engagement program review and teach life management and life lessons. Rice, who played for the Ravens from 2008-2014, delivered an important message that included his story, both the good and the bad. He clearly had the attention of our rookies.”

Owner Steve Biscotti indicated after the team released Rice in September 2014 that he believed Rice could help guide the younger players.

“I believe in my heart that Ray would be a great addition to us when it comes to trying to steer these guys from young men to grown men,” Biscotti said then.

— Alex Rodriguez returned to the Yankees on Thursday after a stint on the disabled list, and he picked right up where he left off, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in New York’s 3-1 loss to the visiting Blue Jays.

The Yankees wasted a strong performance from CC Sabathia in losing for the second game in a row after a six-game winning streak.

“Definitely a missed opportunity at home,” Rodriguez said. “Anytime that our big guy gives us seven strong, two runs, we should win those games.”

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Read More: alex rodriguez, Markieff Morris, Ray Rice,
Ray Rice to serve as assistant coach in NFLPA Collegiate Bowl 01.20.16 at 11:51 am ET
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Former Ravens running back Ray Rice may not have drawn any interest from NFL teams this year, but he will be getting a chance as a coach.

Rice will serve as an assistant coach at Saturday’s NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, which will showcase college athletes eligible for the 2016 NFL draft.

Rice will serve as an assistant running backs coach under Mike Martz, head coach of the National team. He is expected to bring some insight to the young athletes on how to act on and off the field.

Carl Francis, director of communications for the NFLPA, was asked about the decision to allow the troubled running back on the staff. Francis told The Baltimore Sun, “He wanted to get back into coaching, stay a part of the game, so yeah, why not?”

Francis went on to explain that Rice’s history with domestic abuse did not factor into the decision.

“For us, that wasn’t a part of the decision,” Francis said. “A part of our decision was giving players a chance to be a part of a profession they’€™re interested in. … What’€™s better for them to participate in than our collegiate All-Star game?”

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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Ray Rice says Greg Hardy needs to ‘take a deeper look into what the severity of domestic violence is’ 11.20.15 at 8:06 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Nets at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Spurs at Pelicans, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Bulls at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Hofstra at Florida State, 3:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Wisconsin at Georgetown, 5 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: DePaul at South Carolina, 6 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Duke at VCU, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College football: Brown at Columbia, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
College football: Cincinnati at South Florida, 8 p.m. (CBSSN)
College football: Air Force at Boise State, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
College hockey: Michigan at Boston University, 6 p.m. (NESN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Former Ravens running back Ray Rice, suspended by the league last year after video surfaced of him punching out his then-fiancee in a hotel elevator, shared his thoughts on the Greg Hardy situation Thursday, telling New York radio station WFAN that Hardy should “take a deeper look into what the severity of domestic violence is.”

Rice, during a visit to the “Boomer & Carton Show,” said Hardy needs to show he can change his behavior.

“You have to be sincere in your actions,” Rice said. “Show it on and off the field. Take that uniform and use it for what it’s worth. You don’t have to win another football game, you don’t need another dollar to go out and make a difference in other peoples’ lives.”

While Hardy was given a second chance by the Cowboys after his domestic incident last year while a member of the Panthers, Rice has not returned to the NFL even though his indefinite league suspension was overturned by an arbitrator.

The three-time Pro Bowler said he wants to play football again, and he’s come a long way since his incident.

“What I’ve done over the entire year is understand the severity of domestic violence,” the 28-year-old Rice said. “I really did a lot of research and counseling, whatever I had to do. I think it is a total rehabilitation. Domestic violence is very real. It was just one time for me, and it was the worst decision I ever made. That one bad decision, everything I had done good in my life had gone to waste.”

— Much has been made about Cam Newton‘s “dab” touchdown celebration during Sunday’s win over the Titans. Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer now has his own controversy. Palmer was seen doing a pelvic thrust in the direction of the crowd after Arizona’s game-winning touchdown in a 39-31 victory Sunday night. However, Palmer said it was not meant to be a taunt toward Seahawks fans.

Palmer said he saw some familiar faces in the stands and decided to share his celebration with them.

“I had my buddies in the sideline, right four or five rows up,” Palmer told ESPN, saying his friends are called “Pup, Phil and Sugar Cane.” “I saw them pretty excited, and [that] got me excited to see them excited.”

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Read More: Carson Palmer, Greg Hardy, Jaden Newman, Ray Rice
Wednesday’s Morning Mashup: Ray Rice says he’s ‘a rehabilitated man’ as he continues attempt to return to NFL 08.05.15 at 8:02 am ET
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Welcome to Wednesday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

WEDNESDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Red Sox at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
Soccer: Audi Cup, consolation, AC Milan vs. Tottenham, 12:25 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: Audi Cup, championship, Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid, 2:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Soccer: International Champions Cup, Fiorentina at Chelsea, 3 p.m. (FS1)
Soccer: CONCACAF Champions, Sounders at Whitecaps, 10 p.m. (FS1)

AROUND THE WEB:

— Former Ravens running back Ray Rice, an NFL outcast since video emerged of him punching out his then-fiancee in a hotel elevator last year, insists he’s “a rehabilitated man” as he attempts to find a team willing to give him a second chance.

Speaking to ESPN’s Jemele Hill on Tuesday, Rice said he wants to return to the league and eventually retire on his own terms so he can “hang them up the right way.” The 28-year-old said some teams have shown an interest in bringing him in for a look.

“The conversations that I had with [teams] is more to understand the magnitude of my situation,” he said. “I know that it’s a unique deal, so I just try to honestly live day to day and stay hopeful for that opportunity.”

Rice, whose indefinite league suspension was overturned on appeal, making him a free agent after his contract was terminated by the Ravens, reportedly has been working out daily in Connecticut while supporters, including former Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano (who coached Rice at Rutgers), lobby teams on his behalf.

There was an ESPN report in July that one team “seriously considered” making an offer to Rice, but ownership was not comfortable with the potential public backlash.

“We do live in a society where public opinion matters, and a I totally respect that,” Rice said. “Domestic violence is real. It happens every 12 seconds as we speak. … I think that that issue alone with me in my situation, having the video — that puts a lot in perspective. That vivid memory, obviously, that was the worst decision I’ve ever made in my life.”

Added Rice: “I can understand some people probably never will forgive my actions. But I think that every step that I took going forward right now — over time, I want to be able to rewrite the scripts, to tell my daughter that daddy made the worst decision of his life, but this is what I did going forward.”

— While Rice is hopeful he’ll get another shot, things don’t look as promising for former Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon.

Drafted fifth overall in 2012 out of Oklahoma State, Blackmon caught 64 passes for 865 yards and five touchdowns in a promising rookie campaign. However, he was arrested for DUI in 2012 and suspended twice in 2013 for violating the league drug policy, with the last suspension an indefinite one. He also was arrested last year in Oklahoma for misdemeanor marijuana possession.

Jaguars general manager David Caldwell said Tuesday his team has had no contact with Blackmon, despite retaining his rights, and time is not on the receiver’s side.

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Read More: David Caldwell, Jadeveon Clowney, Justin Blackmon, Ray Rice
Anti-violence group says Ray Rice deserves another chance to play in NFL 07.27.15 at 10:28 am ET
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The co-founders of A Call to Men, an organization that strives for men to end violence against women, are backing former Ravens running back Ray Rice in his attempted return to the NFL.

Tony Porter and Ted Bunch, the co-founders of A Call to Men, have worked with Rice since November and believe he is ready to return to the league.

“We have been around a lot of abusive men, but our experience with Ray has been tremendously positive,” Porter told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. “We feel strongly about him having the opportunity of having a second chance. He’s deserving of it.”

Rice has become a symbol of domestic abuse over the last year since the video of him dragging his beaten wife out of a hotel elevator was released last February. However, over the past nine months, Rice has spoken at his alma maters, Rutgers and New Rochelle High School, describing the positive manner in which he has learned from his mistakes and refocused his life.

“He’s held himself accountable,” Bunch said. “He is saying everything that you would want him to say and doing everything that you would want him to do. So why wouldn’t he deserve another chance? His work in the area of educating young men is more important than him getting back on the field. He knows that and has said that to us. He is seeing the bigger picture. He has a desire to compete again, but also to make a difference in the world.

“This is what mistakes should be about: learning from them and teaching others. We’ve been in front of a lot of batterers. He is as transparent as I’ve seen, and as sincere as I’ve seen.”

Though multiple teams reportedly have inquired about Rice, none have stepped up to sign him since he was cut by the Ravens last September. Between his noted domestic violence charges and his 3.1 yards per carry in 2013, teams have been wary of Rice’s baggage. However, Porter believes Rice is in better shape, both physically and mentally, and he is ready to rejoin the NFL.

“We’ll catch flak for this,” Porter said. “A lot of people think we should kick him to the curb and his name should be mud forever. But how great would it be if everyone who made a mistake made it their mission to make sure a million people don’t make the same mistake? To use the influence that he has, what a great way to correct that wrong. And that’s what Ray has committed himself to doing. His intentions are real, his heart is pure, and we’re going to help him to move forward so he can have a positive impact on the next generation of manhood.”

Read More: Baltimore Ravens, Ray Rice,
Friday’s Morning Mashup: Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca new head of Boston 2024 Olympic bid 05.22.15 at 8:07 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
MLB: Angels at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN; WEEI-FM)
MLB: Rangers at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. (MLB Network)
NBA playoffs: Cavaliers at Hawks, 8:30 p.m. (TNT)
NHL playoffs: Rangers at Rays, 8 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Stephen Pagliuca

Stephen Pagliuca

Celtics co-owner Stephen Pagliuca is the new chairman of the group looking to bring the 2024 Summer Olympics to Boston.

Pagliuca replaces John Fish, the construction magnate who helped the group land the United States Olympic Committee bid in January. However, support in Boston has dipped since the initial excitement, with some questionable leadership decisions creating mistrust among local residents, many of whom are wary of the expense.

Pagliuca, who had been a vice chairman of the bid, expressed confidence that the Games would be a positive experience for the city.

“I think it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Massachusetts and for Boston,” Pagliuca said. “It’s a pretty exciting project. I haven’t seen many projects that are that impactful for cities.”

Red Sox president Larry Lucchino and Boston advertising executive Jack Connors were added as senior advisers, and Northeastern athletic director Peter Roby was named a vice chairman.

“Today’s announcement adds to an already impressive team at Boston 2024 and showcases the incredible support the bid enjoys from Boston’s business, civic, educational and political leadership,” USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said in a statement Thursday. “I look forward to working closely with Mayor Walsh, Steve Pagliuca and everyone committed to this bid to successfully finish what we’ve started, and bring the Games to the U.S.”

The USOC initially showed support for Boston but recently indicated it could switch gears and back one of the cites that finished behind Boston (likely Los Angeles) when it submits a formal bid to the International Olympic Committee in September.

Other cities expected to vie for the 2024 Games include Rome; Paris; Hamburg, Germany; and Budapest, Hungary.

— Two of the Patriots’ AFC rivals received bad news Thursday, as key defensive players deal with off-field issues.

Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus was suspended for the season opener for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. It’s related to his arrest May 5 in Alabama, when the 25-year-old was found in possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia.

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Read More: Antonio Smith, Marcell Dareus, Ray Rice, Steve Pagliuca
Ray Rice issues apology to Baltimore: ‘There is no excuse for domestic violence’ 02.13.15 at 9:42 am ET
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Ray Rice issued a statement to the Baltimore Sun in which he apologized to the city of Baltimore and Ravens fans. Rice was suspended last season following the emergence of a video that showed him punching his then-fiancee, now wife Janay Rice (nee Palmer) in a casino elevator.

“Dear Baltimore,” he wrote. “This is not a farewell or goodbye. The last seven years that my family and I have spent in Baltimore have by far been the best of our lives. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all for the love and support you’ve shown my family and I throughout my football career. We’ll always be grateful for the love we’ve received from all of our fans and supporters, and for winning a Super Bowl.

“To all the kids who looked up to me,” Rice continued, “I’m truly sorry for letting you down, but I hope it’s helped you learn that one bad decision can turn your dream into a nightmare. There is no excuse for domestic violence, and I apologize for the horrible mistake I made. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me, and I hope to make a positive difference in people’s lives by raising awareness of this issue.

“I love you all very much,” he added after thanking the Ravens organization, owner Steve Bisciotti, general manager Ozzie Newsome and coach John Harbaugh. “I’ll always be proud to say I played for the Baltimore Ravens. Thank you.”

Commissioner Roger Goodell had originally suspended Rice two games for the incident, but revised the suspension when he saw the video, extending it to indefinitely. Rice appealed the suspension, won, and was reinstated into the league in November.

He plans to move to New York, his home state, and hopes to relaunch his NFL career. Rice has not yet signed with a team.

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Friday’s Morning Mashup: Ray Rice reportedly reaches settlement with Ravens 01.16.15 at 8:12 am ET
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Welcome to Friday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

FRIDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Bulls at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE)
NBA: Warriors at Thunder, 8 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Cavaliers at Clippers, 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Iona at Niagara, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: St. Francis at Robert Morris, 9 p.m. (ESPNU
NHL: Capitals at Predators, 8 p.m. (NHL Network)
College hockey: Boston College at Boston University, 7 pm. (NESN; WEEI-AM)
College hockey: UConn at Notre Dame, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Ray Rice, who had been seeking more than $3.5 million for wrongful termination from the Ravens, reportedly reached a settlement with the team Thursday, shortly before his grievance hearing was to be held.

Rice, who had signed a five-year, $35 million contract in July 2012, was seeking back pay of his $3.529 million base salary for the season.

A source told The Baltimore Sun that the two sides reached a compromise that was “fair.”

Rice was released on Sept. 8, after video emerged of him knocking out his then-fiancee in a hotel elevator earlier in the year. The NFL, which had suspended Rice two games, extended his suspension to indefinite when the video become public. However, an arbitrator overturned the suspension and reinstated Rice, who became a free agent.

Rice, 27, apparently has received no interest from other teams since his reinstatement, although he continues to work out in hopes of getting a second chance.

A three-time Pro Bowler, Rice is the second-leading rusher in Ravens history.

— With the retirement of Kyle Orton, the Bills are in the market for a quarterback — either a starter or someone to back up EJ Manuel. In a radio interview Thursday, new coach Rex Ryan creatively implied that he wouldn’t rule out a reunion with Mark Sanchez.

“Well, I’ve still got the tattoo,” he told ESPN’s “Mike & Mike,” referring to the infamous rendering of his wife in a Sanchez No. 6 Jets jersey on his right arm.

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Read More: alex rodriguez, Mark Sanchez, Ray Rice, Rex Ryan
Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Ravens deny encouraging Janay Rice to apologize 12.04.14 at 8:18 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NHL: Bruins at Sharks, 10:30 p.m. (NESN)
NFL: Cowboys at Bears, 8:25 p.m. (NFL Network; WEEI-FM)
College football: Central Florida at East Carolina, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
NBA: Cavaliers at Knicks, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Hornets at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: LSU at West Virginia, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Baylor at Vanderbilt, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Arkansas at Iowa State, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: TCU at Mississippi, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: San Diego at San Diego State, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)

AROUND THE WEB:

— The Ravens responded to Janay Rice’s claim that the team pushed her to accept some responsibility for the February domestic dispute with running back Ray Rice by denying talking to her prior to the controversial May 23 press conference.

Janay said in an interview with NBC’s “Today” show that the team “suggested” she apologize for her role in the incident that ended with Ray knocking her out in an Atlantic City hotel elevator.

Ravens senior vice president of public and community relations Kevin Byrne responded to that assertion Wednesday.

“There have been some discussions in the media about the Ravens providing a ‘script’ or ‘suggested script’ to Janay and Ray Rice prior to a May 23 press session,’ Byrne said in the statement. “After conversations with Ray about what he wanted to say, we did provide talking points to Ray for this event. After Ray informed the Ravens that Janay wanted also to speak at the event, I asked Ray on two different days if Ray wanted me to speak with Janay in advance of the press session.

“Both times, Ray declined and said: ‘She’s good. She knows what she wants to say.’ At no time prior to the May 23 session did we provide talking points, a script or suggested script to Janay or speak with her about the press event. We did not recommend or suggest to Ray or Janay that she apologize in any way. We understand that the NFLPA also provided Ray talking points and that he repeatedly looked at these on his phone during the May 23 press event.”

NFL Players Association executive George Atallah acknowledged that the union worked with Rice.

“We absolutely sent him notes and we tried to help guide him. That’s what we do,” Atallah said. “That’s what a union does to support the players.”

— The 76ers finally ended their season-long losing streak, beating the Timberwolves on Wednesday night for their first win in 18 tries. Perhaps it was a good omen that the game had to be restarted 16 seconds in, when the referees realized the teams were going in the wrong direction.

Henry Sims was fouled and was at the free throw line when the officials stopped the game and determined their mistake. They called for the teams to switch sides and start from the beginning.

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Read More: Janay Rice, Michael Sam, Ray Rice,
NFLPA lauds Ray Rice’s appeal hearing as proceedings conclude 11.07.14 at 11:27 am ET
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Ray Rice‘s NFL future now hangs in the balance as a federal judge will decide if he can play again.

Rice’s appeal hearing in New York concluded after two days, which included testimony from Rice, his wife, Janay, and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Judge Barbara Jones presided over the appeal and will have the final say on if Rice can return to playing football again. She placed a gag order on the hearing, forbidding people from either side from talking about what went on.

“Generally speaking, yes, but I’m really not going to talk about it,” Jones said when asked about the proceedings.

The NFL Players Association was happy with the way the hearing went and said in statement that every player in a situation like Rice’s should get to have their voice heard before a final decision is made.

“The collectively bargained rights of all players must be vehemently preserved and we take that obligation seriously,” the statement read. “This appeal, presided over by a neutral arbitrator, which included a presentation of all the relevant facts, witness testimony to the truth and cross examination, is the due process that every athlete deserves.”

Jones doesn’t have an exact date for when she has to come to a decision on the matter.

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