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Thread: Big doubts about Ben: Support for Roethlisberger is wavering

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    Big doubts about Ben: Support for Roethlisberger is wavering

    Big doubts about Ben: Support for Roethlisberger is wavering
    http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football ... over_N.htm

    By Gary Mihoces, USA TODAY
    PITTSBURGH At Peppi's Old Tyme Sandwich Shops, the "Roethlisburger" remains on the menu a mix of ground beef, sausage, scrambled eggs, grilled onions and American cheese, created in tribute to the Pittsburgh Steelers star quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger.

    But these days, even the owner of Peppi's has joined fans here in wondering about Roethlisberger, whose on-field heroics he led the team to Super Bowl titles in the 2005 and 2008 seasons have been overshadowed recently by a Georgia woman's allegation that Roethlisberger sexually assaulted her. It is the second time in a year the 28-year-old quarterback has been the focus of such allegations.

    "It's just frustrating to see a guy that's got a lot going for him and finds himself in another one of these situations," Jeff Trebac says. "But you just think why? How can this happen again?"

    Roethlisberger is entering what would be the prime of a stellar NFL career. But he finds himself in another situation that has raised questions about his judgment off the field, led Steel City fans to wonder about their star's future, shaken one of the league's most stable franchises and prompted Commissioner Roger Goodell to make it clear that he was unhappy with Roethlisberger's conduct and would meet with him at the "appropriate" time.

    The discontent stems from an allegation March 5 by a 20-year-old college student who said Roethlisberger sexually assaulted her in a nightclub in Milledgeville, Ga. No charges have been filed, and police have not revealed specifics of the alleged assault.

    Roethlisberger has not commented, other than to say, through his attorneys, that he is "completely innocent."

    The case is the third in a series of incidents that have called Roethlisberger's judgment into question. Last July, Andrea McNulty filed a civil suit against Roethlisberger, alleging he raped her in 2008. Roethlisberger denied the claim, no criminal charges have been filed and Roethlisberger has countersued. In June 2006, after winning his first Super Bowl title, Roethlisberger suffered a broken jaw and nose in a motorcycle accident. He was not wearing a helmet.

    The Steelers have won six Super Bowls under the ownership of the founding Rooney family lauded for building teams through stability, family-style loyalty to players and coaches and their active role in civic affairs.

    At last week's NFL owners meeting in Orlando, Steelers president Art Rooney II said the team was on hold "until they complete the investigation."

    Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, who says he is "highly concerned for our franchise and Ben personally," elaborated at the owners meeting. "It's well known we're very, very conscious about how we do business, that we're highly concerned about our image perception, how we conduct ourselves."

    Roethlisberger isn't the only Steeler making headlines. Super Bowl XLIII MVP Santonio Holmes is being sued by Anshonoe Mills, who alleges Holmes threw a glass at her, resulting in facial cuts, at a nightclub this month. Holmes denied wrongdoing in an interview with ESPN on Monday.

    Also Monday, Roethlisberger did not report for the start of the team's voluntary workout program, and team spokesman Dave Lockett said the quarterback would not work out with his teammates this week. A mandatory minicamp opens April 30.

    At the team complex last week, tight end Heath Miller, among players doing voluntary workouts, declined to comment. "Mr. Rooney's made a statement. Coach Tomlin's made a statement. So as players we're standing behind their statements."

    While the investigation plays out, some already see a pattern.

    "He doesn't have any judgment," says Pittsburgh-based sports agent Ralph Cindrich, a former NFL linebacker. "He is definitely, in the eyes of the law, not guilty (at this stage of the case). Still, you have to question his judgment with a 20-year-old college student. Where is your mind?

    "I don't think there's any question that Ben has lost the city. The Rooney family is just on hold trying to see what the facts are. But there isn't a bank of goodwill that Ben has to go to."

    Stan Savran, a Pittsburgh TV and radio broadcaster for 34 years, says Roethlisberger's local reputation has taken a hit.

    "I think his image has suffered. Almost 100% have kind of lined up against him," says Savran, who does a talk show on ESPN Radio 1250 and regional TV for FSN Pittsburgh. Savran links that reaction to the region's devotion to the Rooneys.

    "I think they buy into the fact that the Steelers not only win, but do things the right way. They feel what Ben has done is a slap in the face to the Rooneys."

    NFL discipline possible

    Roethlisberger could face repercussions outside the courtroom before the Georgia case is completed.

    The league's personal-conduct policy says the commissioner can require counseling and fine or suspend players for "conduct detrimental to the integrity of and public confidence" of the NFL "even where the conduct itself does not result in conviction of a crime." Goodell expressed concern that Roethlisberger "continues to put himself in this position."

    Should Roethlisberger, who signed an eight-year, $102 million contract in 2008, not be available for the season's start, Pittsburgh has no proven option at the team's No. 1 position. Dennis Dixon, 25, is under contract and has one start. Charlie Batch, a backup in Pittsburgh the last eight seasons, signed a two-year deal with the team last week.

    At what point might an NFL club decide it's time to sever ties with a player?

    "There's no perfect scenario you go through that governs all situations," says Charley Casserly, former general manager of the Washington Redskins and Houston Texans and now an analyst for NFL Network and CBS Sports.

    Casserly says "verified facts" are key. "Has he been legally found guilty?" Casserly also says he'd consider whether there have been repeat offenses, whether the player "wants to prove" he can change behavior and whether he has become a "detriment" to the team.

    As for fans, opinions vary.

    Don Harvey, 44, says he was a "little miffed" at Roethlisberger when he first heard reports from Georgia because it was his second "so-called offense, dealing with the same type of problem."

    Sharon Smith, 30, was in Roethlisberger's corner: "I think these women are full of crap and I think they're just taking advantage."

    Says Noam Hanish, 25: "If he's guilty, he's guilty, and he'll go through the process."

    Are sponsorships at risk?

    In 2004, the Steelers made Roethlisberger the 11th overall pick in the NFL draft out of Miami University of Ohio. In Pittsburgh, he was placed in an ideal situation for a young quarterback to develop. But Roethlisberger became a starter early in his rookie season when veteran Tommy Maddox was hurt, and he led the Steelers to a 15-1 regular-season mark and the AFC Championship Game.

    That type of success brought sponsorships, and Roethlisberger counts Nike among them. Last week, spokesman KeJuan Wilkins said Nike "declined to comment (on the current case)."

    Ty Ballou, president and CEO of Pittsburgh-based PLB Sports, which markets the Big Ben's Beef Jerky brand, says the relationship will continue for now. But he expresses concern.

    "You have to put yourself in good positions. And Ben unfortunately hasn't," Ballou says. "I hope this will truly be the last time something like this happens."

    The quarterback is involved in charity work, and his Ben Roethlisberger Foundation has provided grants to support canine units at police and fire departments across the country.

    For now, Roethlisberger appears to be eschewing the spotlight. An avid golfer he is a regular at celebrity tournaments he withdrew from a scheduled appearance at a pro-am scheduled for today and Wednesday in California.

    Cliff Hite, the football coach at Findlay High School in Ohio during Roethlisberger's years there and now a member of the Ohio House of Representatives, says he hasn't spoken with him since his first Super Bowl win.

    "I think the town is behind Ben. It always has been," Hite says. "I know the Ben that left here was a good guy, and I want to hope and pray that he still is."

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    Re: Big doubts about Ben: Support for Roethlisberger is wavering

    So Steelers fans would rather side with a jilted one night stand with mental problems and a lying, drunken co-ed than with the QB who had been convicted of NOTHING and has brought more to Steeler Nation since another QB named Terry who was also run out of town.

    Imagine how much worse it would have been for Bradshaw, O'Donnell and Stewart had the internet been in full bloom like it is now.

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    Re: Big doubts about Ben: Support for Roethlisberger is wavering

    Quote Originally Posted by JAR
    So Steelers fans would rather side with a jilted one night stand with mental problems and a lying, drunken co-ed than with the QB who had been convicted of NOTHING and has brought more to Steeler Nation since another QB named Terry who was also run out of town.

    Imagine how much worse it would have been for Bradshaw, O'Donnell and Stewart had the internet been in full bloom like it is now.
    They aren't siding with the chick.. they are just tired of having to choose sides twice in a year.

    I think all the QB's you mentioned felt as though the media was in full bloom when they were at their lowest. Bradshaw admitted he was at fault for holding onto the baggage after felling like he was run out of town.

    O'Donnell can eat a d### because he never came back to town.

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    Re: Big doubts about Ben: Support for Roethlisberger is wavering

    Quote Originally Posted by feltdizz
    Quote Originally Posted by JAR
    So Steelers fans would rather side with a jilted one night stand with mental problems and a lying, drunken co-ed than with the QB who had been convicted of NOTHING and has brought more to Steeler Nation since another QB named Terry who was also run out of town.

    Imagine how much worse it would have been for Bradshaw, O'Donnell and Stewart had the internet been in full bloom like it is now.
    They aren't siding with the chick.. they are just tired of having to choose sides twice in a year.

    I think all the QB's you mentioned felt as though the media was in full bloom when they were at their lowest. Bradshaw admitted he was at fault for holding onto the baggage after felling like he was run out of town.

    O'Donnell can eat a d### because he never came back to town.
    Tired of having to chose sides because two less than credible females appear to have targeted Ben for their BS? Just how is it Ben's fault exactly? And please, don't give me, the Ben shouldn't be in bars garbage either.

  5. #5

    Re: Big doubts about Ben: Support for Roethlisberger is wavering

    Quote Originally Posted by JAR
    Quote Originally Posted by feltdizz
    Quote Originally Posted by JAR
    So Steelers fans would rather side with a jilted one night stand with mental problems and a lying, drunken co-ed than with the QB who had been convicted of NOTHING and has brought more to Steeler Nation since another QB named Terry who was also run out of town.

    Imagine how much worse it would have been for Bradshaw, O'Donnell and Stewart had the internet been in full bloom like it is now.
    They aren't siding with the chick.. they are just tired of having to choose sides twice in a year.

    I think all the QB's you mentioned felt as though the media was in full bloom when they were at their lowest. Bradshaw admitted he was at fault for holding onto the baggage after felling like he was run out of town.

    O'Donnell can eat a d### because he never came back to town.
    Tired of having to chose sides because two less than credible females appear to have targeted Ben for their BS? Just how is it Ben's fault exactly? And please, don't give me, the Ben shouldn't be in bars garbage either.
    Logic doesn't work with that joker. Just let it go.

  6. #6
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    Re: Big doubts about Ben: Support for Roethlisberger is wavering

    Quote Originally Posted by JAR
    Quote Originally Posted by feltdizz
    Quote Originally Posted by JAR
    So Steelers fans would rather side with a jilted one night stand with mental problems and a lying, drunken co-ed than with the QB who had been convicted of NOTHING and has brought more to Steeler Nation since another QB named Terry who was also run out of town.

    Imagine how much worse it would have been for Bradshaw, O'Donnell and Stewart had the internet been in full bloom like it is now.
    They aren't siding with the chick.. they are just tired of having to choose sides twice in a year.

    I think all the QB's you mentioned felt as though the media was in full bloom when they were at their lowest. Bradshaw admitted he was at fault for holding onto the baggage after felling like he was run out of town.

    O'Donnell can eat a d### because he never came back to town.

    Tired of having to chose sides because two less than credible females appear to have targeted Ben for their BS?
    yep... Some fans would much prefer NOT having to entertain another accusation this off season.

    Sorry if it frustrates you..

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    Re: Big doubts about Ben: Support for Roethlisberger is wavering

    Quote Originally Posted by JAR
    Quote Originally Posted by feltdizz
    Quote Originally Posted by JAR
    So Steelers fans would rather side with a jilted one night stand with mental problems and a lying, drunken co-ed than with the QB who had been convicted of NOTHING and has brought more to Steeler Nation since another QB named Terry who was also run out of town.

    Imagine how much worse it would have been for Bradshaw, O'Donnell and Stewart had the internet been in full bloom like it is now.
    They aren't siding with the chick.. they are just tired of having to choose sides twice in a year.

    I think all the QB's you mentioned felt as though the media was in full bloom when they were at their lowest. Bradshaw admitted he was at fault for holding onto the baggage after felling like he was run out of town.

    O'Donnell can eat a d### because he never came back to town.
    Tired of having to chose sides because two less than credible females appear to have targeted Ben for their BS? Just how is it Ben's fault exactly? And please, don't give me, the Ben shouldn't be in bars garbage either.
    he can go to bars but why does he have to have "contact" with a 20 year old chick who is wasted and he doesnt know? is that smart if you had 100 million dollars that isnt a shure thing? if i had a contract worth that much money i wouldnt take stupid risks. but then again i always wore a helmet when i rode a crotch rocket

  8. #8
    kaydee
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    Re: Big doubts about Ben: Support for Roethlisberger is wavering

    As a female, I don't find Ben attractive at all. I love him as our QB, but I just don't think he's good lookin, but to each her own, I guess.

    My problem with Ben and this entire situation has to do with why he keeps putting himself in these situations to begin with. The girl involved in Georgia is at fault, as well, for being in the bar when she is underage, but I've been there, done that, too, so who am I to judge? Ben, however, should be more mature about these situations, but he's not. I think Ben has an entitlement issue, just like Tiger Woods. As an unmarried, two-time winning SB QB, Ben could probably get just about any girl he wanted, so why he continues to put his career, reputation, endorsements, and the Pittsburgh Steelers' organization in such jeopardy is baffling to me. I think he's very immature and a dumbass.

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    Re: Big doubts about Ben: Support for Roethlisberger is wavering

    Quote Originally Posted by JAR
    Quote Originally Posted by feltdizz
    Quote Originally Posted by JAR
    So Steelers fans would rather side with a jilted one night stand with mental problems and a lying, drunken co-ed than with the QB who had been convicted of NOTHING and has brought more to Steeler Nation since another QB named Terry who was also run out of town.

    Imagine how much worse it would have been for Bradshaw, O'Donnell and Stewart had the internet been in full bloom like it is now.
    They aren't siding with the chick.. they are just tired of having to choose sides twice in a year.

    I think all the QB's you mentioned felt as though the media was in full bloom when they were at their lowest. Bradshaw admitted he was at fault for holding onto the baggage after felling like he was run out of town.

    O'Donnell can eat a d### because he never came back to town.
    Tired of having to chose sides because two less than credible females appear to have targeted Ben for their BS? Just how is it Ben's fault exactly? And please, don't give me, the Ben shouldn't be in bars garbage either.
    JAR, I have to disagree here, I believe it is Ben's fault he's in this situation.

    Who are we to blame? The girl? His bodyguards? The nightclub? The bartender? Who went into the bathroom with a 20 year old coed? There has to be culpability for this somewhere. We know there was sexual contact. We're not sure what kind. We're certain that Ben was there alone with the girl. That makes it difficult for me to find blame anywhere but with Ben, regardless, of the outcome.

    I don't care what Ben does for fun, but trolling for coeds seems like a bad idea to me for a man of means and stature in life due to his wealth. That's just me though.

    Just to play Devil's advocate a bit. If it is so hard not to get put in these situations why aren't other players being accused of sexual assault twice in one year?

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  10. #10

    Re: Big doubts about Ben: Support for Roethlisberger is wavering

    Even if the girl is totally about a money grab...Ben isn't a victim here. He must own his behavior. I don't see how anyone can condone anyone let alone a famous qb going into a public restroom with an intoxicated chick to have relations. We are looking at three potentially illegal acts even while assuming he never physically/sexually assaulted her.

    -did he give this underaged girl alcohol?
    -public indecency
    -was she sober enough to give consent?

    Anyway you slice this up Ben handled his business poorly. If he continues doing this nonsense he will lose alot more than his rep. He must mature, he must date in his league and he needs to be on guard at all times. It's time to put childish things away.
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