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Old 04-13-2010, 12:09 AM   #1
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Default Steelers ponder suspension of Roethlisberger

Steelers ponder suspension of Roethlisberger
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10103/1049923-66.stm

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger expressed "gratitude" Monday that he was not charged with sexual assault in Georgia and sorrow for causing "disappointment and negative attention."

But his troubles might not be over. Sources have told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the Steelers are considering a suspension of their 28-year-old quarterback -- if National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell does not beat them to the punch -- even though prosecutors in Georgia announced the investigation and case against him have been dropped.

Steelers President Art Rooney II was described as "furious" by some after watching a news conference from Milledgeville, Ga., Monday afternoon that detailed in graphic terms some of Mr. Roethlisberger's escapades with a drunken 20-year-old woman. Mr. Rooney later issued a statement that the organization will consider the "next steps in this process" after consulting with Mr. Goodell. Mr. Rooney said the commissioner will meet with Mr. Roethlisberger in the next few days.

The quarterback spoke publicly for the first time since the incident with the college student in the bathroom of a club in the Georgia college town. At the Steelers South Side practice facility, reporters and photographers gathered at 7 p.m. behind a roped-off area in the locker room, where Mr. Roethlisberger, dressed in a long-sleeved maroon Nike button-down shirt and gray slacks with his blond hair slicked back, stood behind a podium and read a statement:

"I'd like to begin by expressing gratitude for the thorough investigation process in Georgia and the prosecutor's decision not to bring charges. I know without a doubt it is the right conclusion. I don't intend to discuss any details related to the events in Georgia. I am happy to put this behind me and move forward.

"I am truly sorry for the disappointment and negative attention I have brought to my family, my teammates and coaches, the Rooneys and the NFL. I understand that the opportunities I have been blessed with are a privilege, and that much is expected of me as the quarterback of Pittsburgh Steelers. I absolutely want to be the leader this team deserves, valued in the community and a role model to kids. I have much work to do to earn this trust, and I am committed to improving and showing everyone my true values.

"I am excited to get back to work with my teammates, and I am more determined than ever to have a great season. I intend to make my family, friends and the Steeler Nation proud on all fronts."

Mr. Roethlisberger took no questions from the gathered media of about 50. It was the second time in nine months he had read a statement from a podium at the Steelers facility in response to a sexual assault claim by a woman. However, while coach Mike Tomlin and personnel head Kevin Colbert stood in the front of the room in obvious support of their quarterback while he faced the media last summer, Mr. Roethlisberger stood alone Monday. He was sued last year by a woman in Nevada who claims he sexually assaulted her. He was not criminally charged in that case.

While Fredric D. Bright, the district attorney of the Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit in Georgia, said he will not prosecute this case, he revealed some graphic details of what happened the night of March 4 and early morning hours of March 5 in a Milledgeville, Ga., nightclub.

"We are not condoning Mr. Roethlisberger's actions that night," Mr. Bright said at a news conference. "But we do not prosecute morals, we prosecute crimes."

The NFL and the Steelers, however, can punish the quarterback based on the league's conduct policy and a team's possible claim to conduct detrimental to the ballclub. One of the possible issues is Mr. Bright's conclusion that Mr. Roethlisberger could have been cited for providing alcohol to a minor.

Multiple Steelers sources indicated that Mr. Rooney is considering various types of punishment for his quarterback, including suspension from a game or games in 2010. It's also possible the NFL could take that decision out of Mr. Rooney's hands by issuing a suspension under the league's conduct policy.

In his statement, Mr. Rooney said:

"During the past few weeks I have met with Ben on a number of occasions, not only to discuss this incident but also to discuss his commitment to making sure something like this never happens again.

"The Pittsburgh Steelers take the conduct of players and staff very seriously. Ben will now have to work hard to earn back the respect and trust of Steelers fans, and to live up to the leadership responsibilities we all expect of him."

Some of the raw details of the incident last month might only strengthen the case against him by the league and the Steelers.

Mr. Bright said he could not pursue the case because he did not believe he could prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.

The NFL and/or the Steelers, however, do not need such proof.

Mr. Goodell, during the NFL meetings in Orlando, Fla., last month, said, "We are concerned that Ben continues to put himself in this position." An NFL spokesman said the commissioner would have no further comment but would meet with Mr. Roethlisberger soon. Mr. Goodell also can require that Mr. Roethlisberger undergo counseling.

Mr. Bright said what others -- including Mr. Rooney and Mr. Goodell -- might want to tell Mr. Roethlisberger these days. Mr. Bright said if it were his son, he would tell him to "grow up."

"Come on, you're supposed to stand for something," Mr. Bright said.

"You need to be a role model for your team, your city, the NFL. You can do better."

Mr. Bright concluded that, "I hope that he's learned something from this, I really do."
For more on the Steelers, read Ed Bouchette on the Steelers at www.post-gazette.com/plus. Ed Bouchette: ebouchette@post-gazette.com.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10103...#ixzz0kxCXILpV
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Old 04-13-2010, 12:46 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers ponder suspension of Roethlisberger

This is such a joke. suspend him for what? This is asinine.
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Old 04-13-2010, 03:43 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers ponder suspension of Roethlisberger

Excellent. I say sit him for six games. Let him get his head on straight.

Seriously, he lures a drunk child, excuse me, 20 year old girl into a 5x5 bathroom, works his "magic" to get around the first "no" so that she, in a drunken stupor agrees... all the while having a SEXUAL PREDATOR TYPE CASE HANGING OVER YOUR HEAD ALREADY.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is stupid no matter how you slice it.

If the Steelers want to protect their 100 million dollar investment, they need to do it NOW. Suspend him. Let him get his head on straight and realize he is NOT bigger than the team, nor bigger than the game. Its not about legality, it is about PERCEPTION. PERIOD.

And may I suggest, Ben shuts up and listens to the only other QB to walk a similar path in Pittsburgh. Hey Ben, he knows just how fast that crowd can turn on you.
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Old 04-13-2010, 04:14 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers ponder suspension of Roethlisberger

I don't see where he should be suspended if he had been found guilty of his charges then I would say yes. I realize that he shouldn't put himself in those types of situations but he has a life to live. We can't keep him bottled up in Pittsburgh. Though I do agree that he should watch what he does and where he goes. He has done nothing wrong here and should not be suspended.
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Old 04-13-2010, 04:20 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers ponder suspension of Roethlisberger

Before the D.A.'s press conference, I believed that Roethlisberger shouldn't be suspended if no charges were filed against him, but I changed my mind after hearing some of the tawdry evidence. Sit his ass for no fewer than four games. He could use the extra time off to learn how to be a respectful and respectable person.
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Old 04-13-2010, 04:24 AM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers ponder suspension of Roethlisberger

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galax Steeler View Post
I don't see where he should be suspended if he had been found guilty of his charges then I would say yes. I realize that he shouldn't put himself in those types of situations but he has a life to live. We can't keep him bottled up in Pittsburgh. Though I do agree that he should watch what he does and where he goes. He has done nothing wrong here and should not be suspended.
He wouldn't have been suspended if he had been found guilty, he would be in prison. Rape is a felony in all states.

My guess he will get 2 games and if the players union gets involved, it will be reduced to one, just like B. Marshall had last year.
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Old 04-13-2010, 04:27 AM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers ponder suspension of Roethlisberger

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He wouldn't have been suspended if he had been found guilty, he would be in prison. Rape is a felony in all states.

My guess he will get 2 games and if the players union gets involved, it will be reduced to one, just like B. Marshall had last year.
You are correct I should have worded it a little different. I just don't see where he should be suspended if a crime wasn't comited.
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Old 04-13-2010, 04:42 AM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers ponder suspension of Roethlisberger

He needs to be sat for a minimum of 4 games....In the end,this might help him in the long run.
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Old 04-13-2010, 04:45 AM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers ponder suspension of Roethlisberger

he will probably get a 2 game suspension. it really sucks because every game will mean alot in a tight afc north division but oh well. if he isnt suspended i would be happy but surprised. in the nfl you dont have to be found guilty to be suspended and personally i wouldnt disagree with a 2 game ban in this case
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Old 04-13-2010, 05:15 AM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers ponder suspension of Roethlisberger

He should be suspended two games just for that ugly ass mullet he was sporting yesterday!



Seriously after reading Rooney's reaction would it surprise anyone if Ben ends up being traded to Buffalo or somewhere in the next couple weeks? I honestly think a fresh start might be neccessary, it just seems as if too much ill will lingers in Pittsburgh for him to continue on with the Steelers.
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