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If Roethlisberger isn't charged, he could still face league or team discipline

Our pal Brooks of SportsByBrooks.com has dissected various flaws arising from ESPN’s rush to report that Ocmulgee (Ga.) Judicial Circuit District Attorney Fred Bright will announce Monday that Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger won’t be charged with sexual assault.  But Brooks ultimately concludes, and we agree, that ESPN wouldn’t go with this story if the reporters had the tiniest sliver of doubt regarding its accuracy.

If that’s what Bright announces on Monday — that Roethlisberger won’t be charged — the matter won’t be completely closed.  Roethlisberger still could be sued, pursuant to the much lower standard of proof applicable to civil suits. 

More importantly (as it relates to his NFL career), Roethlisberger could face discipline from the league or from the team.

The NFL could impose a penalty under the Personal Conduct Policy, even without a criminal prosecution.  “While criminal activity is clearly outside the scope of permissible conduct,” the Personal Conduct Policy reads, “and persons who engage in criminal activity will be subject to discipline, the standard of conduct for persons employed in the NFL is considerably higher.  It is not simply enough to avoid being found guilty of a crime.  Instead, as an employee of the NFL or a member club, you are held to a higher standard and expected to conduct yourself in a way that is responsible, promotes the values upon which the League is based, and is lawful.”  (Emphasis in original.)

The Personal Conduct Policy then lists the various circumstances in which discipline may be imposed.  The first two items specifically mention “criminal offenses.”  Later, the list includes “[c]onduct that undermines or puts at risk the integrity and reputation of the NFL, NFL clubs, or NFL players.”  An easy case can be made that, even without charges, Roethlisberger’s reportedly admitted conduct — sexual contact with a 20-year-old girl in the bathroom stall of a nightclub — “undermines or puts at risk the integrity and reputation” of the league, its teams, and its players.

That said, the Personal Conduct Policy contains some potentially conflicting language regarding the issue of discipline.  “Unless the case involves significant bodily harm,” the document states, “a first offense will generally not result in discipline until there has been a disposition of the proceeding.”  This sentence strongly implies that, for a first offense, the player won’t be disciplined absent the filing of criminal charges.

It’s possible that, in Roethlisberger’s case, the league will regard the Nevada incident as a first offense, and thus treat the Georgia incident as a second offense.  The problem, of course, is that it’s impossible for the league to conclude whether either incident constitutes an “offense” unless the league has conducted its own investigation.

As a result, we tend to think that, despite language suggesting that punishment can be imposed without criminal charges or an arrest, the league will be reluctant to go down that path, unless Roethlisberger would ultimately lose the civil case in Nevada and then lose the separate civil case (if one filed) in Georgia.

Of course, that won’t stop the team from taking action.  In an effort to commence the process of reclaiming a reputation of good behavior, the Steelers could choose to impose a short suspension (one or two games) for conduct detrimental to the team.  Roethlisberger could fight the suspension with the assistance of the union, and unlike league-imposed suspensions Roethlisberger would be entitled to have the matter reviewed by an independent arbitrator.  That said, Roethlisberger’s long-term interests likely would be best served by taking whatever punishment the Rooneys mete out, to be glad that he avoided an outcome that could have been much worse, and to avoid moving forward any circumstances that could give rise to similar allegations.

Again, all of this assumes that he won’t be charged.  If the ESPN report is indeed accurate, we expect others to be “confirming” it over the weekend.

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110 Responses to “If Roethlisberger isn't charged, he could still face league or team discipline”
  1. marktg30 says: Apr 9, 2010 9:52 PM

    Suspension on the way!!!… oh, wait… Roethlisberger is white…

  2. se18a29 says: Apr 9, 2010 9:53 PM

    Sick and tired of this fool.

  3. FoozieGrooler says: Apr 9, 2010 9:57 PM

    Hey Florio…
    It’s over man.
    Give it a rest, quit trying to project your gloom and doom scenarios.
    No charges filed, no arrest.
    No fines, no suspension.
    Time to find a new cash cow topic to post about, over and over and over and over…

  4. Deb says: Apr 9, 2010 9:58 PM

    When I saw this headline, I KNEW you had written the article, rather than Gregg. So you’ve recovered from the malaise that gripped you after hearing ESPN’s report. Atta boy, Florio!
    You hang in there, honey. All your hope for an indictment isn’t lost. Reports have been wrong before. Didn’t you study “Dewey Defeats Truman” in school? (Or maybe they just taught us that in journalism school.) I’m not taking anything for granted until I hear DA Bright’s press conference Monday.
    Sticking to that pesky Constitutional issue of innocent until proved guilty, though, it’s difficult to see how a commissioner who put up with three years of assault charges and arrests before finally suspending Pacman Jones would discipline Ben Roethlisberger for never being charged with a crime. But I’ll hush now. I’d hate to spoil your recovery.

  5. dabarber says: Apr 9, 2010 9:59 PM

    “And for the crime of donkey punching–a 1 week suspension”
    Hee Haw!

  6. blitzburgh1 says: Apr 9, 2010 9:59 PM

    Give it up before your head explodes, Florio.

  7. FoozieGrooler says: Apr 9, 2010 10:00 PM

    “Roethlisberger still could be sued, pursuant to the much lower standard of proof applicable to civil suits”
    …by an underage coed who lied her way into a bar with a fake ID then drank herself brain-dead stupid?
    May as well line up your sub-moronic lynch-mob followers here Florio, you can all take turns suing…
    LMFAO

  8. horntoad says: Apr 9, 2010 10:00 PM

    Give it up Florio….you missed another one!

  9. 65TossPowerTrap says: Apr 9, 2010 10:00 PM

    Wow! PFT is the Weekly World News of the NFL. No credibility whatsoever. No indictment, Ben won’t get sh*t…period.

  10. Steeler4life says: Apr 9, 2010 10:01 PM

    Roethlisberger will be the QB for the first game of the season like I have always said. Beware Baltimorons.

  11. fc1_87 says: Apr 9, 2010 10:04 PM

    If Roethlisberger is not charged with anything and the NFL tries to punish him in some way, the NFL could be faced with a law suit them selves. Accusations alone do not stand as proof of a violation of the Personal Conduct Policy. As for the law suit from Nevada being a “first offence”. It is, again an accusation with no proof. At least not yet. And civil suits alone will not be enough for the NFL to act. If they do, it opens the door for rivals to set up situations to sue players from other teams to get them suspended in order to tip the balance of a game or division race in their favor. Hell, I could file a suit against Florio for being a dip shit.
    Once again Mr Mike has demonstrated why he is no longer a working lawyer.

  12. The Freakin' Deacon says: Apr 9, 2010 10:04 PM

    Ben must feel like a catholic priest on acolyte orientation day.

  13. oxycode30 says: Apr 9, 2010 10:05 PM

    He’ll continue to offend until he actually gets caught and convicted. He ought to consider himself lucky having apparently dodged two bullets thus far but knowing the type well I’m convinced he’ll go on taking what he wants from women until he is finally one day held accountable. Glad he isn’t my QB. Say what you want about Jay Cutler at least he isn’t a misogynist rapist.

  14. nflqb says: Apr 9, 2010 10:09 PM

    this is all rediculous, if the guy is not charged then it is case closed! What is the leage gonna do discipline every player that gets some bullshit claim against him by someone seeking to make a buck?
    The girl was 20 yrs old not 17, end of story!

  15. VindicatedSteeler says: Apr 9, 2010 10:11 PM

    I’ve been reading these threads for weeks and wondered why so many of the posts involve an attack on Florio but now I know why. You are a pathetic writer and even worse it’s clear you’ve lost touch based on the fact that you somehow still have a glimmer of hope that Ben will be charged. For all of those who have been on the “Guilty” wagon, you’ve missed your stop and it’s time to get off bitches. Go Steelers!

  16. ItalianArmyGuy says: Apr 9, 2010 10:13 PM

    Finally, Florio speaks. Did that Turkey taste like Crow? LOL! Deputy Barney Fife got you Florio!!
    I think Ben should be suspended, especially as he involved his teammate Willie Colon in this whole bizarre mess, and has alienated thousands of long-time Steeler fans. His conduct in terms of running such a ridiculous bar-crawl birthday party with the Nevada suit hanging over his head was clearly detrimental – it put the organization at serious risk, and may yet have significant economic consequences to the team. I think a few weeks suspension without pay would certainly be a good wakeup call for him.
    And, it’s not as if the team is going to win anything this year with such a garbage O-line and such an old and ineffective D-line. It will be at least one to two years before the team will be able to remake those lines, especially given that they did nothing in free agency to address either problem. This is shaping up to be a very bad year, in which the Steelers give up a lot of yards and a lot of points.
    So, suspending him now would send a strong message to him and the fans, and really wouldn’t have much effect on the on-the-field product. And, I still would love it if they would grab Tebow if he was on the board at #18. They would have some incredible trick play options available if they had Tebow, Dixon, Ward and Randle El (all college qb’s) all available at the same time. Similar to 2003 when they were running trick plays with Kordell, Hines and Randle El.

  17. cunn9305 says: Apr 9, 2010 10:14 PM

    Move on … Skankgate II is over … for now … I doubt this chick will even file a civil suit given this and her BAL of .2 +. She’ll be ripped to shreds by Ben’s Cut, Throat and Associates. On to the draft please.

  18. AJC says: Apr 9, 2010 10:14 PM

    This is hilarious Led by the the Baltimorons, opposing fans are clinging to the hope that Ben faces a suspension. As usual, envy and jealousy follows the Steelers.

  19. Football Expert says: Apr 9, 2010 10:15 PM

    Any millionare who wears a Satin Shirt and goes out with the boys late knows that nothing good happens after midnight.
    This guys should be charged with being a total knucklehead.
    The Steelers will do the right thing and the league will defer to their judgement.
    Steelers will show everyone that Dennis Dixon is the real deal while Big Ben rests his penis with a very small brain.
    By mid-season Steelers will be on top and win their division. Case closed

  20. VindicatedSteeler says: Apr 9, 2010 10:16 PM

    Now I know why everyone hates Florio. You’re dumb ass is still holding out hope aren’t you? For those of you who have been talkin sh!+, go find another superstar to bash because Ben’s going nowhere! Number 7 coming right up!

  21. brownsfn says: Apr 9, 2010 10:18 PM

    Nothing will happen to him…its a shame when you can rape 2 women and BUY your way out of it…SCUMBAG

  22. azwildcats96 says: Apr 9, 2010 10:18 PM

    Suspend him for what? Having bad judgement and banging a skank? If that’s the case you need to suspend half the players in the league I’m sure LOL

  23. bob says: Apr 9, 2010 10:19 PM

    2 things…
    1) Florio…. are you reporting any news, EVER or are you just hoping that Ben is charged? I’ve never seen such biased reporting since… well MSNBC
    2) What in the hell does his race have anything to do with this? I’d like to see where he’s getting special treatment because of his skin color. All this racial crap is idiotic…. we aren’t in the 1960s anymore. This is just what is wrong with this society these days.
    Did Ray Lewis get off pretty easily back in the day?

  24. Bob S. says: Apr 9, 2010 10:19 PM

    Re: “If Roethlisberger isn’t charged, he could still face league or team discipline”

    For what? Being in the same company of peasents?

  25. BlondBlueDevils says: Apr 9, 2010 10:19 PM

    Did he lie to the Commissioner?
    Oh that’s right, they never met.
    HA HA HA

  26. drumbug71 says: Apr 9, 2010 10:21 PM

    Florio: seriously? You couldnt admit that maybe, just MAYBE, he’s not guilty of any real crime (Other than being an idiot, I’ll admit that much)?
    Leave it to Rosenthall to have to report the real news while you’re off trying to find a way to twist it around into “Well, maybe he’s still in trouble….please please PLEASE still be in trouble…”

  27. SteelTown_6 says: Apr 9, 2010 10:22 PM

    Damn, the haters have really gone off the deep end regarding no charges being filed against Roethlisberger.
    I will just about guarantee that there will be a domestic violence incident or two because of the pent up rage carried by these bloodthirsty fools. With Ben being exonerated, several of you idiots will become so out-of-freakin’-control enraged that you WILL end up taking it out on your wives, girlfriends, etc. (assuming that you actually have one, ..a stretch, I know)
    Ironic though isn’t it?
    Who will the first one of you idiots be to go to jail tonight?

  28. ninerblitz says: Apr 9, 2010 10:22 PM

    Why should he be suspended? For messing with some whores? If that is the case the 60 percent of the league should be suspended.

  29. zabam says: Apr 9, 2010 10:23 PM

    The integrity of the league may be even more tarnished if Rothlisberger is not charged. There is certainly a perception of justice not being equally applied to those with celebrity status. In this case the financial fruits of that celebrity have resulted in a high profile defense team that can overwhelm the resources of the public’s defendants. Even once past the inequity at a societal level, there is differing application of penalty within the league based on star status. Regardless of charges being brought, the Rothlisberger case leaves a foul taste that reflects on the league.

  30. Maddog says: Apr 9, 2010 10:28 PM

    Dead horse, meat Mike Florio and his baseball bat.

  31. Spoonthis says: Apr 9, 2010 10:29 PM

    Florio has awaken and has immediately started making up more bull shit. If this, if that, if BuckFigBen’s aunt had balls he would have 2 uncles.
    Florio, why don’t you request an interview with Roger Goddell? Oh that’s right because he would laugh in your face as he gives it to TMZ because they are a more credible news source than you.

  32. Steelers4Life says: Apr 9, 2010 10:32 PM

    That said, I’m surprised you haven’t drank yourself to death yet Florio.

  33. GirthyOne says: Apr 9, 2010 10:37 PM

    That’s because the league is outside the law.

  34. trickbunny says: Apr 9, 2010 10:44 PM

    Can’t they just suspend him for being a general pain in the ass? :)

  35. Shamrock says: Apr 9, 2010 10:46 PM

    “But Brooks ultimately concludes, and we agree, that ESPN wouldn’t go with this story if the reporters had the tiniest sliver of doubt regarding its accuracy.”
    Chris Mortensen stood live on Michael Vick’s property, while the Feds were conducting their second investigative search of his kennels, and smirkly stated that “sources” told him there was “no chance” of Vick being Federally indicted on dog fighting charges.
    Yeah …… ESPN wouldn’t run with a bullcrap story …..

  36. Skeeee says: Apr 9, 2010 10:52 PM

    So it seems like teams can gain a competitive advantage by just accussing opposing players of whatever. Go 1 step further by creating some kind of situation and claiming a crime? How can the NFL be allowed to operate like that?

  37. SteelTown_6 says: Apr 9, 2010 10:54 PM

    Goodell will probably have a sit-down and tell Ben to not be such a dumb-ass in the future, and Tomlin may do the same and have him run a few extra laps, but that will be about it.
    Can’t punish a guy for having less than a speeding ticket to his name.

  38. khall says: Apr 9, 2010 11:05 PM

    Don’t you love how Florio shows up when it’s time to post the “negative aspects/news” about Roethlisberger. He leaves the others to post the positives!

  39. Bens Attorney says: Apr 9, 2010 11:08 PM

    Glad to see you are back Mike , Sorry things didnt quite goes as well as you had hoped .
    Might as well milk it for all you can over the weekend.
    And IF he is not charged , then what can even the Rooneys punish him for , being in a bar and drinking, he is of legal age and last time I checked it is not a crime either. And tell me this if they didnt suspend Reed for drunk and beating up a paper towel holder , and Matt Spaeth for being drunk and peeing in public, and Jeff Reed again being drunk and picking a fight, Well then how could they suspend Ben. I am sure Ben is not the only single guy on the team that goes out and goes to bars. IF thats the case then they would have to suspend half of the team.
    And now cue the haters that the rest of them didnt not get accused of assault. Well that is what it is an accusation that is unfounded obviously or wouldnt you think he would be in jail or charged.
    There were no criminal charges in NV there is going to be none in GA. Only thing he is guilty of is going into a bar and having drinks and hooking up with the wrong girl. That is not a crime. If it is then half of the single men in the United States would be in jail or dismissed or suspended from thier jobs.
    But at least you will get alot of hits on this one also.

  40. khall says: Apr 9, 2010 11:17 PM

    Wait….you are using SportsbyBrooks.com now as a source? Really?

  41. queenie says: Apr 9, 2010 11:17 PM

    What a great day in the Steeltown!
    Not only will Big Ben NOT be charge or suspended but now Santonio Holmes has been vindicated as well!
    http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=5071751
    Read it and weep you haters!
    GO STEELERS!

  42. it's all bs says: Apr 9, 2010 11:27 PM

    This is complete and utter BS people! He’ll get a good talking to and that will be that!
    Dream on with all your hatefest for Big Ben. You all want so badly NOT to have to face him again with your loser teams…..ain’t gonna happen!
    And now it’s reported that Santonio is “INNOCENT” as well…..ha ha ha!
    Yes it’s a fine day in the Steeler neighborhood!
    Here’s to #7!
    GO STEELERS!

  43. Steeler-lady says: Apr 9, 2010 11:28 PM

    this story is funny…lol Could be. Shyt your aunt could still be your uncle if he didnt get his nuts cut off.. LOL same scenario. We all know the possibilities within the Nfl rules.
    When Jamal Lewis got to pick his own sentence on a Coke charge.. was he ever suspended???

  44. this class sucks says: Apr 9, 2010 11:32 PM

    It doesn’t matter who it is, the NFL shouldn’t suspend people who are found innocent, before their case is complete, and certainly not if they aren’t even charged. I am not doubting they hold this power, I am just saying it shouldn’t be used.

  45. The Real Shuxion says: Apr 9, 2010 11:39 PM

    The scores today are:
    Game 1:
    Women: 0
    Douchebag athletes: 2
    ————————–
    Game 2:
    Retarded Steeler Fans: 2
    Sane people in America: 0
    —————————–
    The reaction of Steeler fans and how stupid they sound matches that of the people who believed OJ was innocent.
    Steeler fans: Not just bad fans, just plain disgusting people.

  46. OhioSteelerFan says: Apr 9, 2010 11:44 PM

    Race, the ace in hole

  47. Snibs says: Apr 9, 2010 11:46 PM

    Whoops! We were all wrong. Florio wasn’t crying in the corner he was grasping at every hope to get one more useless article out! Come on Florio you can churn out at least 6 more before monday! May be enough to buy you that new hairpiece!

  48. SteelTown_6 says: Apr 9, 2010 11:55 PM

    “# The Real Shuxion says: April 9, 2010 11:39 PM
    “Steeler fans: Not just bad fans, just plain disgusting people.”
    Thank you, your pain and suffering nourishes us.
    We feed on your anguish and despair.
    And your unbalanced rage only warms our hearts.
    Thank you for this.
    Really.
    Signed,
    Steeler Nation

  49. FoozieGrooler says: Apr 10, 2010 12:01 AM

    Wow, the haters are suddenly quiet.
    Have they finally been silenced by the realization that their dreams will NOT be coming true?
    Maybe they’re all taking a long hard look at their now pointless lives, being as the main target of their venomous attacks has been taken away?
    Nah, they’re just a bunch a whiny assholes with nothing left to say – they’re finally out of ammo.
    Fugg’em…

  50. Deb says: Apr 10, 2010 12:02 AM

    @dabarber …
    You have no idea what a donkey punch is, do you? Not one authority connected with this case has said anything about any kind of punch, let alone a donkey punch. You’ve spent too much time sniffing the witch hazel.
    @The Real Shuxion …
    What’s disgusting is men who feign an interest in the welfare of women that mean nothing to them. If you cared about that woman or any justice issue, you’d take time to research the facts and wait until Monday to hear what the authorities have to say. Rape is nothing more to you than a means to smack talk fans of a rival football team. Your hypocrisy is noted, you sad excuse for a man.

  51. toddmitchell116 says: Apr 10, 2010 12:03 AM

    you what really sucks..Ben will have a monster season..win the super bowl and become MVP!!..AND THE REST OF YOU SCUMBAGS LIKE “THE REAL SHUXION” CAN EAT SHIT!

  52. KaiserSoze says: Apr 10, 2010 12:06 AM

    # The Real Shuxion says: April 9, 2010 11:39 PM
    “The reaction of Steeler fans and how stupid they sound matches that of the people who believed OJ was innocent.
    Steeler fans: Not just bad fans, just plain disgusting people.”
    Why is that?
    Because we had not one, but two players cleared today (well one today, one coming Monday) of any wrongdoing against unfounded accusations?
    And for that, there’s something wrong with US?
    You need to see a priest son. You seem to have some very serious self esteem and life issues that can’t be dealt with via normal methods.
    For real.

  53. Snibs says: Apr 10, 2010 12:07 AM

    Yes keep saying Race has something to do with it. That card is as old and worn out as Florio’s next post. Give it up!

  54. pokerpro7s says: Apr 10, 2010 12:11 AM

    The idea of Ben not being charged is keeping Florio up at night. What will he have to write about once this is a non-issue?

  55. yazman of steel says: Apr 10, 2010 12:23 AM

    Stick it in your ass, Florio. HA HA HA. Nothing to see here, move along.

  56. Deb says: Apr 10, 2010 12:27 AM

    @NFC North Resident …
    Please do not squawk about racism in one breath while you stereotype all Steeler fans in the other. I was just as vehement in my defense of Michael Irvin several years ago as I was in my defense of Roethlisberger. I didn’t make time to follow Irvin’s recent case closely, but still commented in defense of him. And he’s black. And I hate the Cowboys. For me, this isn’t about race and it isn’t about team. It’s about damning people without evidence–which is wrong no matter what color the guy happens to be or what team he plays for.
    Get off your high horse, buddy. From your post, it’s obvious that you’ve never bothered to read the Nevada complaint against Roethlisberger nor any of the defense filings in the case. If you had, you’d know the evidence supports his innocence. And you clearly haven’t followed this case because you’d know NO official evidence has been released to the public other than an unspecified accusation of “sexual manipulation.” If you were interested in justice, you’d at least check out the Nevada evidence and wait to hear what the DA says on Monday before proclaiming the man guilty of being a piece of human shit.
    Ben Roethlisberger may be rude to fans and act like a jackass, but that doesn’t make him a sex abuser deserving of imprisonment, suspension, or paying large civil settlements. If you can’t see the difference between jackass and criminal, you’re a bloody idiot.

  57. dabarber says: Apr 10, 2010 12:27 AM

    @ Deb
    Not one authority connected with this case has said anything about any kind of punch, let alone a donkey punch.
    ————————————————————
    Hey Donkey Punchee–NO details have been released yet.

  58. Deb says: Apr 10, 2010 12:34 AM

    @ItalianArmyGuy …
    Well, I see you’re no better at making wise and insightful judgments about team needs than you are about people.

  59. rolli1967 says: Apr 10, 2010 12:43 AM

    NO MORE FUR-BURGERS FOR WORTHLESSBURGER!!!! He may end up sliding out of trouble this time but sooner or later if he keeps up the same type of juvenile behavior he will have to pay the piper.

  60. Jamson64 says: Apr 10, 2010 12:48 AM

    Steeler haters unhinged. What a sick bunch calling a man a rapist just because he plays for a different team. sick.

  61. IStateYourName says: Apr 10, 2010 12:49 AM

    Goodell should give him a really good titty-twister next time he sees him.

  62. scalia75 says: Apr 10, 2010 1:03 AM

    This is for Deb. Deb, here’s your quote:
    “Sticking to that pesky Constitutional issue of innocent until proved guilty”
    Um, Deb. that “innocent until proved [sic] guilty” thing? That applies to the government. Not to a private organization like the Steelers. The Steelers can suspend him, period. Also, tell me where in the text of the Constitution you read the words “innocent until proved [sic] guilty?” I bet you a Roethisburger (well-done) that you can’t. Idiot.

  63. scalia75 says: Apr 10, 2010 1:16 AM

    Arm-chair lawyers…shut…up.
    Stop talking about a Constitution you have never read, or the applicable case law. Don’t blabber about a Bill of Rights that you only know about because you may have watched an episode of law and order.
    It seems as if you morons watch Law and Order (or other drivel) and think that you can make a coherent legal argument. That’s like me watching Grey’s Anatomy and thinking that I can perform a cardiac catheter insertion. It does not fly.
    Also, shut up.

  64. Norrec says: Apr 10, 2010 1:44 AM

    Apparently the phrase “has raped” and “has been accused of rape” have the same meaning. Good thing idiots don’t post on this site. Oh wait…

  65. Barnstormer says: Apr 10, 2010 2:05 AM

    YEA RIGHT! Godell is a pupet!!

  66. tryagain says: Apr 10, 2010 2:06 AM

    queenie says: What a great day in the Steeltown!
    I have a feeling it won’t last.
    @Steeler-lady: You dip Skoal don’t ya?

  67. robert ethan says: Apr 10, 2010 2:10 AM

    Maybe Bright and the GBI set out some crow dressed up as turkey to trap the leak in their organization.
    It’s a longshot, but Bankhead the GBI PR guy seemed awfully certain the media would be eating crow. He was also P.O.ed about the leaks to the press.
    Certainly if they did end up indicting Ruthless on Monday there would be a lot of gagging by ESPN.

  68. Sammy says: Apr 10, 2010 2:12 AM

    Sorry for my french, but I can’t help but think the prick got away with it.

  69. TryTheVeal says: Apr 10, 2010 2:43 AM

    He will be back to “Unleash Hell” and another 8-8 season…And the Steelers fans who tug on his nut sack can rest easy….You’re pathetic existence still has reason…….

  70. yallaresomad says: Apr 10, 2010 3:09 AM

    I am a steelers fan… but some of you are idiots. How you deny that there is a personal conduct issue here is beyond me. The black and white thing is being taken out of context because of the fact that previous suspensions were based on criminal charges.

  71. Garbage Pail Kid says: Apr 10, 2010 3:17 AM

    Regardless. Rothleiberger will be remembered forever as villain. This is the age of information. NO one will forget.

  72. ccoolahan14 says: Apr 10, 2010 3:39 AM

    Yeah, I’m sure the NFL is going to suspend the qb of the team they’ve been rigging games in order to see them win.

  73. 123456789 says: Apr 10, 2010 5:01 AM

    Florio, suck my @$$ you bottom-feeding pig! These whores are a bunch of liars.
    And, I’m not going to pretend to be a Cowboy fan, Chapnasty anymore.
    Now, I’m the real me!!
    You’ve jerks have got NOTHING on Big Ben. Suspension? For what? Roethlisberger has never gotten so much as a traffic ticket in his lifetime.
    Ha! Now, who is “sqeeling”?
    You haters make me sick. This crap against Roethlisberger and Holmes is one big smear campaign to bring down the Steelers because everyone else in this country is jealous of their 6 SUPER BOWL TITLES.
    Hey, Steeler hating punks? Do you still have your VCRs qued up for Monday’s press conference? HA!
    The world is full of gold digging BITCHES. Women are the evil.
    THE PITTSBURGH STEELERS RULE! Nex season, Big Ben will shred that broken down Ravens secondary.
    Off-season arrests:
    Browns = 1
    Steelers = 0
    Killers on an NFL team:
    Ravens = 2
    Steelers = 0
    Super Bowl Titles:
    Steelers = 6
    Rest of NFL = IT DOESN’T MATTER!
    Screw all of you! Ha!!!!!!

  74. 123456789 says: Apr 10, 2010 5:59 AM

    Mike Florio? You own Ben Roethlisberger a formal and public apology. You weren’t just reporting news. You were egging this ish on. Shame on you. Now, get on that, will ya?
    Folks, get ready. The details will start coming out. This broad is a drunken sorority whore. It was a scam to pray off an athlete.

  75. yazman of steel says: Apr 10, 2010 6:10 AM

    I came to this site to get football rumors. Then it turned into Florio rooting for rape. Hoping and praying that a football player raped someone. Cheering and hoping and rooting for rape. Nice site. Florio and half the people here are sick. I hope Ben raped someone so the Steelers will lose. DO you know how sick and twisted that is? I am done. You will never get another “hit” on your rape rooting site from me ever again.

  76. DirtDawg55 says: Apr 10, 2010 7:23 AM

    What exactly was the “offence” committed in Nevada? That Big Ben slept with a loopy arse woman who is now feeling spurned and wants to sue him? And what is the “offence” committed in Georgia? That some college bimbo got all liquored up and then felt up and then regretted it in the morning?
    If the NFL suspended players who slept with multiple partners or who hit on the ladies there would be no one left in the league. Other than Flacco.
    By this standard we should definitely suspend Tom Brady. After all, he has knocked up multiple women!

  77. SFrancis1680 says: Apr 10, 2010 7:29 AM

    there is a Head Coach in Oakland who broke an assistants jaw AND is accused of domestic violence & the leagues punishment to him was???… OR how about in Minnesota where the Comissioner tried to suspend the Williams brothers in Star Caps, & that was overturned in court…while it’s stating the obvious that the Comissioner & the Steelers will want to read Ben the riot act, any comments that he’s looking at a suspension is wishful thinking on your part, but keep trying FLORIO, I know you can’t let this go, & the more you say about it, the bigger a jackass you become. …why not let Gregg Rosenthal report on this? he doesn’t seem like he has a h#rd-on about this story the way you do.

  78. blitzburgh1 says: Apr 10, 2010 7:38 AM

    Isn’t it time for Favre to retire again?

  79. TampaJoey says: Apr 10, 2010 8:08 AM

    Big deal… I’m sure we’ll all be reading about another whore Roethlisberger rapes within a year. Anybody really think this is the last time we’ll read about Roethlisberger sexually attacking someone?
    A tiger can’t change their stripes. Ben likes to party with college kids and then after he gets drunk he likes to stick his penis inside them. It’s like his hobby.

  80. openfieldtackle says: Apr 10, 2010 8:17 AM

    OK Ben was not smart going to the bar… no question.
    Rape=No way!
    Women are attracted to $$$ and when they don’t get it scream… Forget it!
    Same with the girl at the bar where Holmes was at in Orlando… He didn’t want her around and when he told her to get lost and no $$$ she accused him.
    It has been going on with these women and will go on forever!
    Get off the backs of these guys and lock the ladies up for false accusations and damage to their image.

  81. Greg says: Apr 10, 2010 8:23 AM

    nfc north, give it a rest. You people that keep bringing up the race thing are, well, just stupid. Black, white or green, doesent matter. We all know 1/2 these guy’s would be in jail if not for their cash. How come so many of you jump on Florio’s case all of the time? If you dont like what he write’s, DONT READ IT!!!!!
    Personnaly, I think any players that do anything out side the law should be banned from the NFL. How many of us get the chance to bitch about working for only a few million a year? It’s a privledge, not their right.

  82. pensacolasteelers says: Apr 10, 2010 8:31 AM

    I’ve said all along that it’s BS! For anyone to even think that he’ll be punished, even if the DA decides to FILE criminal charges is rediculous. He’ll only be punished IF or WHEN he is CONVICTED! If the DA decided to prosecute with what little evidence they have (her word vs his) then it’s obvioulsy an attempt to gain political favor among his/her constituents.
    This is just as obvious a ploy to extort money from him as is the case by McNutty in Nevada.

  83. Florios'Lawyer says: Apr 10, 2010 8:41 AM

    Wow, what a difference a day makes.
    Most of Florio’s earlier Roethlisberger bashing threads have drawn anywhere between 150 and 200 responses from all of the idiot bandwagon haters.
    Now suddenly, they’ve managed to STFU.
    Yeah, that’s the best thing about getting a BJ.
    The silence that comes with it.

  84. Florios'Lawyer says: Apr 10, 2010 8:54 AM

    Hey Florio.
    You have all weekend so take your time, and get started on Monday’s column where you tell us that Ben Roethlisberger will NOT have charges filed, that the DA sees no reason to proceed based on the evidence (or lack thereof), not to mention all of the inconsistencies with the accusers’ statements (that is, stupid drunk vs sober).
    But most importantly, make sure you tell all your readers how you were rooting for Ben the whole time, and that you just KNEW it would end this way all along.

  85. TheWizard says: Apr 10, 2010 9:12 AM

    By this standard we should definitely suspend Tom Brady. After all, he has knocked up multiple women!
    What most of the civilized world knows but nobody here seems to grasp, is that the 1st pregnancy was an entrapment ploy that didn’t work.

  86. C.Bass says: Apr 10, 2010 9:26 AM

    Suspended for what? If NO charges are filed, the only thing he’s “guilty” of is being accused of something. GOing to a bar is not a crime, nor is making out with a 20-year old. No charges = no crime = no suspension.
    SUCK IT HATERS.

  87. i'm president charlie! says: Apr 10, 2010 9:41 AM

    Why is everyone SO MAD? :-D
    I do enjoy reading posts from Bengals and Ravens fans bragging about making the playoffs though. Turned out real well for yinz, another eventual playoff loss and a lower draft pick…congratulations!! Just to refresh your memory the last time the Steelers made the playoffs they took the ultimate prize home with them LOL!

  88. mrogers18 says: Apr 10, 2010 9:42 AM

    People who constantly use the race card generally lack intelligence. This issue is not about race when it comes to the NFL and Goodell. He hasn’t been charged with a crime. And when the league is disproportionally black, well you’re gonna get more suspensions for black athletes. Wait until you have a “White Pacman” and then see how the league reacts, if the “White Pacman” isn’t suspended then you have an issue.

  89. HandsofSweed says: Apr 10, 2010 9:52 AM

    @Shuxion:
    The real scoreboard:
    The Bill of Rights/Due Process/Justice, 2
    Extortion/Totalitarianism, 0
    Too bad. You don’t like America? Get the fu## out and go somewhere where we don’t have rights.

  90. 6lombardis says: Apr 10, 2010 9:58 AM

    The Duke Lacrosse players were guilty too. Oh, that’s right…
    Every person that thinks Ben is guilty now must have thought the Duke players were guilty as well. The ignorance of the American public is this countries most expensive commodity.

  91. it's all bs says: Apr 10, 2010 10:19 AM

    Maybe Florio should be suspended for having his head up his butt…I mean I’m just saying!
    GO STEELERS!

  92. steelforce43 says: Apr 10, 2010 10:22 AM

    I am a Steelers fan I would love to see the Steelers just rid themselves of Ben and Holmes. I hate looking like the Bungles or now WAY WORSE. Anyway one thing I hate even more is that fact that some idoits like to turn this into a BLACK AND WHITE THING!!!
    Remember Ray Ray??? He killed someone and got off. What color was he???
    Get over it. This isn’t balck or white. Vick had dead dogs in his yard. Like it or not this is he said she said. Ben is a fool and Holmes is an idoit. The Burgh should rid themselves of both. I’d rather see a losing season and be proud of the players on the field.
    Make a statement Rooney’s!!!

  93. FoozieGrooler says: Apr 10, 2010 10:29 AM

    # TheWizard says: April 10, 2010 9:12 AM
    “By this standard we should definitely suspend Tom Brady. After all, he has knocked up multiple women!”
    “What most of the civilized world knows but nobody here seems to grasp, is that the 1st pregnancy was an entrapment ploy that didn’t work.”
    Right, if you’re Tom Brady, accusations are always the result of some devious “ploy”.
    But, if you’re Ben Roethlisberger, then the scumbag must have paid someone off, and he got away with something.
    LMFAO

  94. trjuxal says: Apr 10, 2010 10:50 AM

    “I am a Steelers fan I would love to see the Steelers just rid themselves of Ben and Holmes.”
    Yea, and you’re also fu*king retarded.

  95. florio4prez says: Apr 10, 2010 11:09 AM

    And in an unrelated (sic) story, Mike Florio of PFT announced plans to hold his very own little press conference, the timing curiously enough within hours after the Midgeville DA’s presser next Monday.
    Sources living close to West Virginia stated that Mike’s presser will be to announce the 2010 year-to-date financial results of his fabled site. Florio’s site has reportedly registered an unparalled one kazillion hits throughout his 2010 NFL off-season vigilante crusade against all players who wear the Black and Gold.
    One source went so far as to say Mike has privately confided, “The fans of my site are simply animals and this recent period has been an absolute feeding frenzy for them. The hits related to my junk on my good buddies Ben and Tone have virtually doubled my personal wealth. My agent is telling me that the articles I have planned in advance and in response to the DA’s presser Monday should set back-to-back all-time records for hits. Florio Junior ain’t gonna have to work a day in his life.”

  96. fab says: Apr 10, 2010 11:24 AM

    marktg30 says:
    April 9, 2010 9:52 PM
    Suspension on the way!!!… oh, wait… Roethlisberger is white…
    ————————————————–
    you get suspended for killing living things and carrying guns. 2 adults having some sort of consensual sex is not a crime. white or black.

  97. purpleguy says: Apr 10, 2010 12:06 PM

    So now all the dumbass Steeler fans come out of the woodwork focusing their collective ire at Florio instead of their dimwit QB. But hey, Big Ben has won 2 Super Bowls and your team has won 6 — I guess that gives him special dispensation to act like a turd.
    And yeah, a prosecutor’s decision that there isn’t enough evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt means that the dope isn’t guilty of anything. Sure, that works. Ben’s an angel. I mean, what mid-twenties guy doesn’t normally post body guards and lock himself in a bar bathroom with a drunk underage co-ed late at night?

  98. danlinker says: Apr 10, 2010 12:19 PM

    It must be difficult to have to defend your favorite team’s qb on sexaul assault accusations. MUTIPLE sexual assault accusations. Whether or not he is charged, or suspended by the league, or suspended by the team, I am loving this. Even if no suspensions come down, I am still loving it. Always nice to see a league darling team get what they deserve, in the form of negative publicity. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving darling team (except for the Patriots). Absolutely hilarious. Keep defending Ben steeler fans. It is pathetic. But it does give a lot of us something to laugh at. Oh yeah, and how did that Santonio Holmes thing work out? Too funny.

  99. it's all bs says: Apr 10, 2010 12:43 PM

    Hey purpleguy You only wish you could lock yourself in a bar bathroom with anyone but yourself!
    Get real man your monicker says it all and I doubt that you are purple…more like YELLOW you big cry BABY!
    Yea Ben’s a dimwit but he’s our dimwit so get your own!
    GO STEELERS!

  100. 123456789 says: Apr 10, 2010 1:10 PM

    danlinker? OK, Mr. Fan of a team that has probably never won a Super Bowl. Go wank yourself, piece of trash.

  101. scrapdawg12 says: Apr 10, 2010 1:34 PM

    Kick this pervert/pedophile, whatever he is, out of the league

  102. Steelers4Life says: Apr 10, 2010 1:51 PM

    danlinker says:
    April 10, 2010 12:19 PM
    It must be difficult to have to defend your favorite team’s qb on sexaul assault accusations. MUTIPLE sexual assault accusations. Whether or not he is charged, or suspended by the league, or suspended by the team, I am loving this. Even if no suspensions come down, I am still loving it. Always nice to see a league darling team get what they deserve, in the form of negative publicity. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving darling team (except for the Patriots). Absolutely hilarious. Keep defending Ben steeler fans. It is pathetic. But it does give a lot of us something to laugh at. Oh yeah, and how did that Santonio Holmes thing work out? Too funny.
    ——————————————-
    Glad you’re enjoying it, too bad it won’t matter on the field though. As far as how the whole Santonio thing has worked out….it’s worked out fine, another person has already come forward and said they were the one who threw the drink, so….yeah.

  103. EdBurns666 says: Apr 10, 2010 2:03 PM

    Erm… Pedophile… I thought anything past 18 years old is considerd as an adult via the Constitution… Pervert… Nothing’s been proven in this case that says he did it… The FACTS haven’t been disclosed. All we’ve heard is Speculation. We’ll hear the facts come Monday at 2:00 p.m..

  104. funi says: Apr 10, 2010 2:12 PM

    Ben did not KILL anyone like Ray Lewis and Leonard Little, of wait they are black and got off and people cheer them! Wiat Ben don’t have 7 kids in 5 states like Cromatie, oh wait he is black so that is alright!

  105. Deb says: Apr 10, 2010 2:42 PM

    @scalia75 …
    Your name says it all, jackass.
    I don’t need to direct quote the Constitution to understand its principles. My grammar is a product of my journalism degree and work as a writer and editor. My passion for justice issues comes from living in a country that didn’t have a Constitution or a Bill of Rights–which I not only have read, but which I keep close by at all times. I wouldn’t expect you to understand that since your hero would toss it out given half a chance.
    When you’ve watched an army round up the usual suspects with no evidence and no due process just because they live in the wrong neighborhood and you’ve sat in courtrooms and watched people sentenced on the perjured testimony of a single witness with no corroborating testimony, you tend to take due process seriously. And anything I don’t understand from my own experience, I can ask my brother and sister-in-law who are both successful criminal defense attorneys who also teach law school.
    Moron.

  106. FloriosHairHat says: Apr 10, 2010 3:27 PM

    # scrapdawg12 says: April 10, 2010 1:34 PM
    “Kick this pervert/pedophile, whatever he is, out of the league”
    Damn straight, let’s ship him over to the PGA where he belongs.

  107. robert ethan says: Apr 10, 2010 3:33 PM

    Well I guess the only remaining suspense is whether or not this turns out to be the “media crow” that John Bankhead was fuming about.
    It sure looks like fresh turkey for Kelly Naqi and ESPN so far. Theyv’e been feasting on it.
    Faint hope conspiracy theory for those of us who think Ruthless needs a severe kick in the ass is that the GBI and Bright are using this to try to close the information leak.

  108. Bious says: Apr 10, 2010 6:24 PM

    Interesting. So we are basically suspending him for doing absolutely nothing illegal but simply b/c he was accused of something that he didn’t do per the DA
    So, can I just make an accusation that my rivals QB’s or star players raped me to get them suspended? Is it that simple?

  109. Wick says: Apr 11, 2010 1:22 PM

    It’s NOT a crime to hook up with a woman who is 18 or over. Why should Ben be punished unless it’s established that he did anything beyond that? stop taking accusations as established fact – and then demanding punishment. Didn’t they teach you “due process” in law school?
    What is this “second offense” crap Florio speaks of? SECOND offense??? Are you kidding me? Apparent, if the Duke LaCrosse team gets a ticket for j-walking or not wearing their seat belt, they should all face a much stiffer punishment – as it would be considered by you to be their second offense.
    Had you covered other sports, I’m also sure the Duke LaCrosse team would’ve also been prominently posted on the Turd Watch —- all it takes is an unproven allegation to move the meter on Florio’s Turd Watch.
    Ben likes to play and have fun. Sure, it may sound unseemly to some — but it’s not a crime.
    And Florio cites how the team could (and presumably SHOULD) at least impose a “short” (Florio’s term) one or two game suspension. That implies a one or two game suspension would be trite; a slap on the wrist if you will.
    Wrong again. Pittsburgh missed the playoffs last year by the 1 game Ben didn’t play (concussion) – Dixon put up a decent effort and admirable play given his lack of experience – but they lost to B’more … and Dixon was no Ben. Ben has been taking monster dumps all over Raven Nation for years.
    One game made the difference between night and day. Every team in the playoffs chubbed up when they knew Pittsburgh wasn’t coming to the dance. Let’s not try to leverage or coerce the Rooneys into punishing Ben for what we only know is tagging some tail at a club. If it’s proven to be worse than that – sure. But now it’s just a guy who likes to play.
    Besides, how many games do you think Hines Ward, Casey Hampton, James Farrior, Aaron Smith and others have to play.
    Until you get something legit to lean on, stop going Joseph Goebbels over this – trying to propagandize your agenda-driven slant. Some can think past it and see through it. Many don’t.

  110. Biff Henderson says: Apr 11, 2010 5:11 PM

    As soon as this goes away the marketing machine kicks in
    Big Ben’s
    Spooge-B-Gone
    RapeKit Towel
    “Leave no evidence behind”
    Lawyer-up or wipe it up, you decide.

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