In a Wednesday night appearance on NFL Network’s Total Access, Steelers receiver Hines Ward talked about quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s offseason misadventures in Milledgeville, Georgia.
And it sounds like Ward wants Ben to talk about the situation himself.
“A lot of players really don’t know the situation, other than what we
hear in the news or the media,” Ward said. “I think when he
addresses the whole team going into training camp, we can all put it
behind us and move forward.”
In other words, Ward expects Ben to address the whole team going into training camp.
It sounds good in theory, but it creates a potential legal problem for Roethlisberger. Anything he says about the situation to his teammates can be used against him — either in the trial of any civil action filed by the alleged Georgia victim or in the trial of the pending civil action in Nevada filed last year by a woman who claims that Roethlisberger sexually assaulted her in 2008.
As to the former, we think it’s irrelevant, because we suspect that the alleged victim’s decision not to pursue criminal charges came after a settlement of her potential civil claims was negotiated.
As to the latter, lawyer Calvin R.X. Dunlap has made it clear that he intends to delve into the Georgia incident, and in so doing he could start serving up subpoenas to everyone who was in the room when Roethlisberger talks about the situation.
It puts Ben in a tough spot. If he goes into specifics, Dunlap potentially will have more ammunition. If he stays too general, his teammates may conclude that he’s full of crap.