Ray Rice appeal hearing scheduled

The hearing on Ray Rice's appeal of his indefinite suspension from the NFL will be heard Nov. 5-6, according to ESPN and media reports.

NBC News was the first to report the dates.

A decision on whether NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will testify at the hearing is expected this week.

The NFLPA is appealing Rice's suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy. The former Baltimore Ravens running back was suspended after video of him hitting his then-fiancee in an elevator was made public.

If Rice's suspension is overturned and he is signed by another team, it is conceivable he could return to the league this season.

Former U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones was chosen as the neutral arbitrator in the case. It is Jones who will decide whether or not Goodell testifies, a decision he left up to her.

Union officials said in announcing the appeal that Goodell and his staff's testimony is a central reason it pushed to jointly select an outside arbiter.

Goodell said in appointing Jones that she would have "our full cooperation as she hears and decides this appeal.'' Jones is a partner in a private law firm and is also a former Department of Justice attorney.

One month after Rice was initially suspended two games, Goodell said he didn't get things right and announced tougher penalties for future domestic violence incidents. Those penalties, however, didn't apply to Rice.

Once the video was released, the Ravens cut Rice and the league banned him indefinitely, with the league saying it considered the video new evidence.