NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says Ben Roethlisberger has violated the NFL's personal conduct policy, but would not confirm reports on when he will announce discipline for the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback, he said on the syndicated Dan Patrick Show on Monday.
Asked by Patrick if there has been a violation of the NFL's personal conduct policy, Goodell replied "Yes, there has been a violation of that."
"The issue here is respect to a pattern of behavior," Goodell said.
Last week, prosecutors in Georgia declined to charge Roethlisberger after a college student accused him of sexual assault in March. Goodell could still fine and/or suspend Roethlisberger under the league's personal conduct policy.
Goodell is likely to issue Roethlisberger a conditional suspension -- the same approach he took in disciplining Michael Vick following Vick's release from prison and return to football -- a source familiar with Goodell's options told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen. The source could not define the length of the penalty Goodell is considering.
Under the conditions being considered, the league would monitor Roethlisberger's behavior once the suspension begins, as well as recommendations from clinical specialists who are expected to evaluate whether Roethlisberger requires counseling and random testing for substance abuse, the source said. The league also could use the period of the conditional suspension to determine if there is any prior conduct by the quarterback that merits stronger disciplinary action.
Goodell told the Dan Patrick Show that he needed time to review all the facts in the case. "Obviously there is a depute about the facts that occurred that night," he said.
Yahoo! Sports reported that a suspension was expected to be announced Monday or Tuesday. But a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter that the league will not discipline Roethlisberger Monday. The source said he would be "very surprised" if the discipline were announced Tuesday.
When asked on the Dan Patrick Show about reports that a decision could be announced Monday or Tuesday, Goodell would not commit to a timeline. "I make the decision when I'm prepared to do so," he said.
Team president Art Rooney II says the Steelers were ready to punish the quarterback, but declined to do so because such action could be contested by the players' union.
Goodell's original timetable, as related to Rooney, was based on the expectation the league would not have full access to the investigative files until this week, sources told Mortensen. But last week's release of the investigation data by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has allowed Goodell, NFL security chief Milt Alherich and NFL legal counsel to analyze the information.
In 2009, Goodell issued Vick a six-game conditional suspension that was reduced to two games by the start of the season. Vick returned to football after serving a federal prison sentence for financing a dogfighting ring in Virginia.
Roethlisberger is also being sued by a different woman who says he raped her in 2008 at a Lake Tahoe hotel-casino. Roethlisberger denies the accusation and was not criminally charged in that case. He has claimed counter-damages in a lawsuit.
On Monday, Roethlisberger took part in the Steelers' first day of voluntary on-field practices. He also participated in off-the-field conditioning work for several days last week.