Steelers QB Roethlisberger will miss Bucs: suspended 4-6 games
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was suspended for six games by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Wednesday for conduct detrimental to the NFL in violating the league's personal conduct policy.
He must undergo a comprehensive behavior evaluation by medical professionals and adhere to any recommended counseling and treatment.
The suspension -- which could be reduced to four games -- means Roethlisberger will not be in uniform against the Bucs in Week 3 at Raymond James Stadium.
On Tuesday, the Bucs traded quarterback Byron Leftwich to the Steelers for a seventh-round pick. Ironically, Leftwich lost his starting job with the Bucs after going winless in his first three games in Tampa Bay.
Roethlisberger may not attend any off-season activity with the team after today until he completes his evaluation and counseling and professionals recommend he resume his football activities. But he can participate in training camp and the preseason.
Goodell said he would review Roethlisberger's progress prior to the start of the regular season and consider whether to reduce the suspension to four games. Failure to cooperate or follow the plan could result in a longer suspension.
Roethlisberger was accused of sexually assaulting a college student in Milledgewille, Ga., but prosecutors said they did not have enough evidence for a conviction and did not proceed with criminal charges. It was the second time in a year that Roethlisberger had been accused of sexual assault.
In a letter to the Steelers and Roethlisberger, Goodell said,"I recognize that the allegations in Georgia were disputed and that they did not result in criminal charges being filed against you. My decision today is not based on a finding that you violated Georgia law, or on a conclusion that differs from that of the local prosecutor. That said, you are held to a higher standard as an NFL player, and there is nothing about your conduct in Milledgeville that can remotely be described as admirable, responsible, or consistent with either the values of the league or the expectations of our fans."