NEW ROCHELLE, NY — The City School District of New Rochelle has formally denied that former NFL star Ray Rice has been hired as a football coach, on a paid or voluntary basis, or in any other capacity.
Last week News12 ran a story claiming that Rice had been hired as an Assistant Coach. The Journal News reported that Rice’s role as a coach with the team was “official”. New Rochelle coach Lou DiRienzo told the paper Rice has been working as a volunteer football coach for the last three years. “”Everything is the same” said DiRienzo.
If that is the case then DiRienzo and Rice have been in violation of New York State law, not to mention Athletic Director Steve Young, New Rochelle High School Principal Reggie Richardson, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Joseph Williams, and Schools Superintendent Dr. Brian Osborne.
After news reports surfaced that Rice was working as an Assistant Coach for Running Backs, at New Rochelle High School, Talk of the Sound filed a Freedom of Information request on June 3, 2017 for all records pertaining to Ray Rice who, according to news reports, is now an Assistant Coach with the NRHS Football team.
“There should be a job application, paperwork related to a background check, his certification as an athletic coach in New York State, board resolutions, an offer letter or contract and so forth. I would like to obtain all such records.”
In reply, New Rochelle Board of Education Clerk Lisdalia Saraiva stated:
“I acknowledge receipt of your Freedom of Information Law request dated 6/3/2017 requesting records pertaining to the alleged employment of Ray Rice. Please be advised that we do not have any such records, such as “job application, paperwork related to a background check, his certification as an athletic coach in New York State, board resolutions, an offer letter or contract and so forth”, as Ray Rice has not been appointed to a position in the City School District of New Rochelle.”
Whether paid or volunteer, under the New York State Safe Schools Against Violence in Education (SAVE) Law, a sports coach must file a job application and submit to a 50-State FBI Background Check by the New York State Education Department’s Office of School Personnel Review and Accountability (OSPRA).
In New York, sports coaches must obtain a New York State Coaching License
Non-Teacher Coaches like Rice may obtain a Temporary Coaching License to coach any sport for which they qualify. Among the requirements, there must be no certified teachers available with appropriate experience and qualifications. They must have an appropriate First Aid course prior to start of season and be certified in Adult CPR. They must complete required coaching courses such as Philosophy & Principles, Theory & Techniques, and Health Science, and approved courses in Identification and Reporting of Child Abuse and Maltreatment and Training in School Violence Prevention and Intervention. The Philosophy & Principles course must be completed within two years from initial appointment as a coach. There is no provision for an extension of time for non-teachers to meet course requirements.
To obtain a Non-Teacher Professional Coaching Certificate, a person must meet all of the requirements for a Temporary Coaching License PLUS a minimum of three years coaching experience in a specific sport in a New York State interschool athletic program.
The school district must ensure the Principal or Athletic Director responsible for supervision conducts an evaluation during each year the non-teacher coach is employed.
As none of this has happened, Rice is not and has not been eligible to coach high school football in New York.