Embattled QB Roethlisberger banned 6 games
AP Football Writer
Vail, CO Colorado
NEW YORK – Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was suspended for six games without pay Wednesday for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy and ordered to undergo behavioral evaluation.
Commissioner Roger Goodell made the announcement a week after prosecutors decided not to charge Roethlisberger after a 20-year-old college student accused him of sexually assaulting her in a Georgia nightclub in March.
Goodell said the league’s conduct policy gave him the right to impose discipline.
“I recognize that the allegations in Georgia were disputed and that they did not result in criminal charges being filed against you,” he said in his letter to the two-time Super Bowl winner, a six-year veteran.
“My decision today is not based on a finding that you violated Georgia law, or on a conclusion that differs from that of the local prosecutor. That said, 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.”
Roethlisberger must undergo a “comprehensive behavioral evaluation by medical professionals” and may not attend any team offseason activities until that evaluation is completed.
The suspension could be reduced to four games for good behavior. Sitting out all six games would cost him an estimated $2.8 million.
The Pennsylvania State Police have rescinded permission for a trooper to work as a personal assistant to Roethlisberger because he was present when the Steelers star was accused of sexual assault at a Georgia nightclub.
Trooper Ed Joyner got state police permission to work as Roethlisberger’s assistant in 2005. State police regulations require troopers to get permission for any outside work for which they’ll be paid or otherwise receive compensation or “consideration.”
The state police said Wednesday that Joyner’s work for Roethlisberger exceeded the scope of what he was permitted to do and also that “he is alleged to have demeaned the image” of the state police.
Roethlisberger was not criminally charged in the incident. But on Wednesday, the NFL announced he would be suspended for six games.