BY KEVIN CONNELL (@_KevinConnell)
Before its season-opening win against No. 11 Ole Miss on Monday night, the Florida State football team was receiving words of wisdom from Ray Rice.
Rice, a former Ravens running back, spoke with the Seminoles during fall camp last month about the domestic violence incident that forced him out of the NFL.
“I made the worst decision of my life and the reality of it is I’m not playing football right now not because I’m not good enough but because I made the worst decision in my life,” Rice said. “So you guys got to understand that it all came down to decision making.”
Rice, 29, has not played in the NFL since the Feb. 15, 2014 incident, when he was caught on video punching his then-fiancée in the face. The punch knocked her unconscious.
The Ravens cut Rice that September after the video was released to the public.
“But the No. 1 rule is you got to learn to deal with it. You really do,” Rice said. “One thing I learned throughout this process is we're never not man enough to ask for help. I was too busy trying to be the man instead of a man. Chasing that dream trying to be the man got me the man on the outside looking in.
"And that's the truth. The only way I can explain it to you guys is that this community right here, this is therapy for me. Because as your brother, I can't allow you to go through the same decision-making process as me.”
Rice’s speech to the team was released as a short clip on YouTube by Showtime for its all-access series “A Season With Florida State Football.”
During halftime of Florida State’s 45-34 win over Ole Miss, former Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston also spoke with the team.