New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice has been suspended two games without pay by the NFL for his offseason arrest on assault charges.
Though Rice avoided prosecution after he was arrested in February and charged with simple assault-domestic violence following an incident with then-fiancee Janay Palmer at the Revel Casino in Atlantic City, the NFL said Thursday he was in violation of the league's personal conduct policy.
Rice was also fined an additional game check. His suspension will begin Aug. 30 and he will be eligible for reinstatement on Monday, Sept. 12, following the Ravens' game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He is eligible to participate in all aspects of training camp and preseason games.
He can appeal the decision within three days.
Surveillance video posted online by TMZ.com showed Rice lifting a motionless Palmer out of an elevator and onto the floor, though there was no footage of any physical altercation between the two.
In May, Rice was accepted into a pretrial intervention program that allowed him to avert prosecution and avoid serving any time in jail. The charges against him will be expunged from his record upon successful completion of the one-year program.
Rice and Palmer have since been married and Rice issued an apology in May.
The NFL released the following letter from Commissioner Roger Goodell to Rice:
"As you acknowledged during our meeting, your conduct was unquestionably inconsistent with league polices and the standard of behavior required of everyone who is part of the NFL.
"The league is an entity that depends on integrity and in the confidence of the public and we simply cannot tolerate conduct that endangers others or reflects negatively on our game. This is particularly true with respect to domestic violence and other forms of violence against women.
"You will be expected to continue to take advantage of the counseling and other professional services you identified during our meeting. As you noted, this additional assistance has been of significant benefit to you and your wife, and it should remain a part of your practice as appropriate.
"I believe that you are sincere in your desire to learn from this matter and move forward toward a healthy relationship and successful career. I am now focused on your actions and expect you to demonstrate by those actions that you are prepared to fulfill those expectations."
Rice played in 15 games last season and tallied 660 yards and four touchdowns on 214 carries while adding 321 yards receiving. Over his career, the three- time Pro Bowl selection has rushed for 6,180 yards and 37 touchdowns and caught 369 passes for 3,034 yards and six scores.