Ben Roethlisberger Says He Accepts Consequences Of His Actions

April 27th, 2010-  By Bryan Cross

Tarnished Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback Ben Roethlisberger looks to rebuild his reputation as a person around the NFL following a second accusation against him alleging sexual assault in 12 months.

While no charges were filed, he was found by the league to have violated the personal conduct policy, and as such, was suspended six games by commissioner Roger Goodell for the upcoming 2010 NFL season.

“The commissioner’s decision to suspend me speaks clearly that more is expected of me. I am accountable for the consequences of my actions. Though I have committed no crime, I regret that I have fallen short of the values instilled in me by my family,” Roethlisberger remarked by way of a statement.

Back on March 5, a 20-year-old female college student said that at Capital City night club in Milledgeville, Ga, the two-time winning Super Bowl quarterback sexually assaulted her in the bathroom.

Goodell issued a letter to Roethlisberger that said “”you are held to a higher standard as an NFL player, and there is nothing about your conduct in Milledgeville [Ga.] that can remotely be described as admirable, responsible, or consistent with either the values of the league of the expectations of our fans.”

Roethlisberger described his suspension as “devastating” with respect to missing games this season.

“I am sorry to let down my teammates and the entire Steelers fan base. I am disappointed that I have reached this point and will not put myself in this situation again,” Roethlisberger remarked. “I appreciate the opportunities that I have been given in my life and will make the necessary improvements.”

Roethlisberger’s suspension brought in a new era relating to personal conduct in the NFL, as the quarterback is the first player to receive a punishment having not been formally charged or convicted of a crime.  Goodell stated however that Roethlisberger’s behavior warranted action.

“In your six years in the NFL, you have first thrilled and now disappointed a great many people,” Goodell wrote. “I urge you to take full advantage of this opportunity to get your life and career back on track.”

Roethlisberger has the opportunity to reduce his suspension from six games to four if he is able to follow strict and specific requirements, including behavioral counseling.

Both Roethlisberger and his agent stated that they will meet every requirement and go above and beyond in making sure that the quarterback improves as a person off the field before returning to the field of play.

Conversely, Goodell holds the ability to suspend the player further if he falls short.

The suspension has shifted the Steelers odds for Super Bowl XLV on USA Online Sportsbooks, dropping to 18/1 on Bodog.

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