Roethlisberger Suspended Six Games

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has informed Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger that he must undergo a comprehensive behavioral evaluation by medical professionals, and will be suspended without pay for the first six games of the regular season for conduct detrimental to the NFL in violation of the league’s personal conduct policy.

Roethlisberger will not be able to attend any team off-season activity until he has completed the evaluation.

The two-step approach is designed to hold Roethlisberger "accountable for his conduct and provide him an opportunity to change his behavior and establish himself as a responsible individual."

In the letter to Roethlisberger, Goodell wrote that "The personal conduct policy makes clear that I may impose discipline 'even where the conduct does not result in conviction of a crime' as, for example, where the conduct ‘imposes inherent danger to the safety and well being of another person'.

"As the District Attorney concluded, the extensive investigatory record shows that you contributed to the irresponsible consumption of alcohol by purchasing (or facilitating the purchase of) alcoholic beverages for underage college students, at least some of whom were likely already intoxicated. There is no question that the excessive consumption of alcohol that evening put the students and yourself at risk. The personal-conduct policy also states that discipline is appropriate for conduct that 'undermines or puts at risk the integrity and reputation of the NFL, NFL clubs, or NFL players.' By any measure, your conduct satisfies that standard."

Goodell told Roethlisberger that his "conduct raises sufficient concerns that I believe effective intervention now is the best step for your personal and professional welfare", and that "In your six years in the NFL, you have first thrilled and now disappointed a great many people. I urge you to take full advantage of this opportunity to get your life and career back on track."

Commissioner Goodell will review Roethlisberger's progress prior to the start of the regular season, and depending on that evaluation, Roethlisberger's suspension could be reduced or increased. Should Roethlisberger remain suspended for the entire six games, he'll forfeit $2.841M in base salary, nearly $30,000 more than Steelers kicker Jeff Reed will make under the one-year franchise tag.

The per-game cost of his suspension is $473,529.

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