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Steelers and NFL Will Punish Ben Roethlisberger

In announcing that the Pittsburgh Steelers and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will take coordinated disciplinary action against Ben Roethlisberger, team President Art Rooney II said Thursday that whatever the penalty, it would be just the start for the two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback.

"After imposing an appropriate level of discipline and outlining the steps we feel will be necessary to be a successful player and person, we intend to allow Ben the opportunity to prove to us that he is the teammate and citizen we all believe he is capable of being," Rooney said.

"And we hope the entire Steelers community will allow Ben the opportunity to prove to them that he deserves their trust and respect."

A district attorney in Georgia said Monday that he would not file criminal charges against Roethlisberger in connection with a sexual assault complaint filed March 5 by a 20-year-old college student. District Attorney Fred Bright cited a lack of evidence.

Rooney said the punishment wouldn't come until at least the week after next. The NFL announces its schedule Tuesday and the three-day draft begins Thursday. But Rooney said the timing was based on Goodell's desire to have a "couple of weeks to further review the matter."

Authorities in Georgia on Thursday publicly released a 572-page file compiled during the month-long investigation of the case.

Rooney said he wanted to make it clear that the discipline would come from the Steelers and Goodell. Team discipline can be taken to arbitration before a special master. When Goodell imposes discipline under the NFL's personal-conduct policy, appeals go to the commissioner.

Roethlisberger joined the team's conditioning program this week. It begins on-field practices Monday.

3 Responses »

  1. After reading excerpts from the police reports - I truly believe that Ben "TAKE THE PU$$% " Rothlisberger raped that young woman. I also believe he belongs in jail and out of the NFL totally. If we can send Michael Vick to jail for abusing dogs then certainly what Rothlisberger did is far worse. I used to have a good opinion of him even though I wasn't a Steeler's fan. Now I think he is just a P-O-S. He belongs in jail where any other rapist would be. Payoffs just seem to cement the facts that he knew what he did was wrong. The Pennsylvania State Police need to investigate the officer that was his bodyguard and bring him up on charges also if the facts indicate the he aided and abetted the rape of that young woman. This just makes my skin crawl.

    This man should be in jail. There are women who try to take rich people(Like the Seagal story), but this woman has back up witness. Multiple witness confirm the first thing out of her mouth was help me, I was raped. It was not hey, I just got lucky with a football player.
    What should be the deciding factor is was the "ripped". A woman who has willing sex with someone, would not have her genitals ripped. A woman forced to have sex, will be ripped and bleeding.
    This is one of the reasons it is so important to have a victim checked at the hospital.

    I think a crime was still comitted here though. The girl and her friends were in the VIP area doing shots with Ben and his friends. The girl is underage, and her friends may have been underage. Ben, his crew, and the bar could all get into serious trouble for providing alcohol to these girls. I know it’s a college bar and everything, but most places I know around here have been getting pretty strict about serving underage people.

  2. I have a good friend from school who is from Pitt. He goes to some of the same watering holes as Ben, and told me point blank to my my face that Ben is an obnoxious drinker. When he's wasted he says anything that comes to his head to women. A lot of the times they are so offended that they don't even care that he's a star.

    The First woman said that all Ben had to do was donate to womens abuse and tell the truth about what he did. She was not just looking for money and look how people are doing her. It is hard enough for these women to come forward. They shouldn't having to be put through this by the media and bloggers. The second girl has dropped out of school. That poor innocent “southern bell”…. Ben has turned her life upside down and torn it apart. He reminds me of O.J. Simpson!!!

    I saw today's interview of the DA from Milleridge, Georgia about B.R. and it is evident of the old boy/sport star getting preferential treatment. The DA was obviously in awe of this football oaf and had the gall to say he only indicts cases that can be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. Excuse me but the way I learned the legal system and I worked in it for 35 years, is that it's the jury that decides that question. Between the DA's concern about his conviction statistics and the probable contributions to come from big time sports contributors if this case quietly goes away, it smacks of a fix as well as double-standards. And I wonder if this would have happened if the player in question had been African-American. What do you think?

  3. Not to make excuses but - - - injuries to the frontal lobe will cause a serious disconnection between doing what is right and what is wrong. In addition to the many pounding crushing blows while quarterbacking, he had another frontal slam with the motorcycle incident. If this is the cause this behavior will become considerably worse. Think Mike Tyson.