Sort of like that old adage about little Jimmy and whether or not he did crack that corn - except I think at least one of his friends would back up his story: yes, they would say, he's telling the truth! ... Unfortunately for Big Ben, no one is taking his side in the matter of the 20-year old college student who accused him of sexual assault. Not his fans, not his team and certainly not the NFL.
Just a week after prosecutors decided not to press charges, Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Roethlisberger for six games. Goodell explained, "The Personal Conduct Policy makes clear that I may impose discipline 'even where the conduct does not result in conviction of a crime' as, for example, where the conduct 'imposes inherent danger to the safety and well being of another person’".
He went on to say, in a letter directly to Ben, “you are held to a higher standard as an NFL player, and there is nothing about your conduct in Milledgeville that can remotely be described as admirable, responsible, or consistent with either the values of the league or the expectations of our fans".
The Steeler organization is equally upset with their tarnished star. ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported that the franchise has begun contacting teams about trading Roethlisberger. The Rams, 49ers, Raiders, Bills, Jaguars, Seahawks and Browns have all been contacted. (Neither the Rams nor the Bills are interested. Ouch).
Roethlisberger must undergo a comprehensive behavioral evaluation during his suspension. Failure to do so could result in a longer suspension. Until the evaluation is completed, Roethlisberger is banned from attending any team offseason activities.
In his letter to Ben, Goodell urged him “to take full advantage of this opportunity to get your life and career back on track”. I’ll start taking bets now but my money is on the fact that this guy has at least one questionable “date” during those six weeks …