Ravens will investigate new players for assault history

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It was a rough season for the Baltimore Ravens and now the Ray Rice controversy is changing how the team signs its players.

Senior vice president Kevin Byrne stopped by York College to speak to students about how the team handled the crisis. He says their main misstep was not putting the spotlight on the victim, Janay Rice, to begin with. He says the NFL has more power for social change than ever.

"Just a month ago, 114 million people watched the Super Bowl," says Byrne. "It's the largest or most-watched program in history, so we obviously have great influence."

Despite the assault, Byrne says Rice would get a recommendation from the Ravens. He says the Rices' relationship appeared good to those around them.

"If anybody called anybody from the Ravens, we would tell them about the 6 years, the first 6 years and what a model citizen he was for us," says Byrne.

Going forward, officials say they'll use outside agencies to investigate players' backgrounds more thoroughly. In a sport where it's not uncommon to find a criminal background, Byrne says there's one red flag they won't ignore.

"Cases of assault, whether they be against a woman or another man, those will be looked at with more of a critical eye than ever before," he explains. "They need to be, and that's what we will do."


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