Rice joined the Melbourne Under 19's in 1962 and played ten games after managing to get a clearance from his club halfway through the year.
He made it through five phases of the pre-season cull in 1963, and the rover was almost certain to be a senior player the next year.
That year he was involved in a road accident where his head went through the windscreen of the car and his knees hit the dashboard. When he suffered another broken nose soon after doctors advised him to stop playing football and he took up umpiring in the VFA.
Rice took legal action against the driver of the car he was in, and called former Demon Ron Barassi as a witness to testify that he had been a promising player.
"Football future ended by crash, jury told" - The Age 15/02/1966