This is coming through on the BSO Blackberry that Roethlisberger will be suspended for 4-6 games by the league. This has been confirmed by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
The league will be announcing the terms of the suspension later today.
As you know I was pushing for eight games, while other media outlets were saying 1-2 games, so Roger Goodell seems to have split the difference.
It appears that it will be a “conditional suspension” where if Roethlisberger follows certain rules it will be four games, but if he doesn’t it will max out at six or could increase if he gets into any more trouble. Similar to the Michael Vick suspension from a year ago.
I still think it is on the light side, but definitely more than a slap on the wrist when you consider that at minimum, Roethlisberger will miss a quarter of the season. It is the equivalent of someone failing the drug policy and considering how much alcohol was involved I can see the reasoning behind it.
The Steelers will go into the season with Dennis Dixon as their starting Quarterback and this is an opportunity of a lifetime for Dixon because if he plays well I think they keep him as their starter. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.
Here are the conditions of Roethlisberger suspension:
Commissioner Roger Goodell notified Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger Wednesday that he must undergo a comprehensive behavioral evaluation by medical professionals and will be suspended without pay for the first six games of the regular season for conduct detrimental to the NFL in violation of the league’s personal conduct policy.
Roethlisberger’s six-game suspension will cost him $2,841,174
Here are details from the Letter Goodell sent Roethlisberger:
“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’,” Goodell stated in his letter to Roethlisberger. “As the District Attorney concluded, the extensive investigatory record shows that you contributed to the irresponsible consumption of alcohol by purchasing (or facilitating the purchase of) alcoholic beverages for underage college students, at least some of whom were likely already intoxicated. There is no question that the excessive consumption of alcohol that evening put the students and yourself at risk. The personal-conduct policy also states that discipline is appropriate for conduct that ‘undermines or puts at risk the integrity and reputation of the NFL, NFL clubs, or NFL players.’ By any measure, your conduct satisfies that standard.”
Goodell said his review of the matter included the extensive volume of material released by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Milledgeville Police Department; public comments by and a private conversation with Georgia District Attorney Fred Bright; comments and recommendations of Roethlisberger’s representatives; a personal interview with Roethlisberger on April 13; dialogue with current players, former players, the NFL Players Association, and others; and information learned by the NFL office in the course of examining the Milledgeville matter.
Other excerpts from Goodell’s letter:
“I recognize that the allegations in Georgia were disputed and that they did not result in criminal charges being filed against you. 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.”
“Your conduct raises sufficient concerns that I believe effective intervention now is the best step for your personal and professional welfare.”
“I believe it is essential that you take full advantage of the resources available to you. My ultimate disposition in this matter will be influenced by the extent to which you do so, what you learn as a result, and a demonstrated commitment to making positive change in your life.”
“In your six years in the NFL, you have first thrilled and now disappointed a great many people. I urge you to take full advantage of this opportunity to get your life and career back on track.”