Mind you, it could have been something to do with close season transfers and freedom of contracts when he introduced his latest signing to a conference at the university.
Step forward TES Scotland columnist, Walter Humes, formerly of Strathclyde University and now Aberdeen University.
Rice mumbled something about "strengthening our own team and weakening others" and praised Humes to the rafters of King's College conference centre. Humes has moved north to his old university to focus on research.
Over coffee, one teacher recalled Humes's early days as a lecturer with student teachers. Such was his prowess, they handed him an apple at the end of the session.
"Ah, a Granny Smith," quipped Humes. "Just like me: sharp and bitter."