Big Ben: What to think.

Either Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger has a serious issue, or he is one unfortunate fellow.

On March 5, 2010, the alleged sexual assault of a Georgia college student by the QB came to light. Despite the investigation continuing for over a month, the prosecutor Fred Bright ultimately decided not to pursue a case. He cited a lack of evidence and a reluctance to go through a trial on the part of the accuser.

You would think that this press conference held by Bright would be somewhat of an exoneration for Roethlisberger; however, it can (and has been) perceived as something totally different.

The decision to terminate the Roethlisberger investigation was a relief to some obvious entities; the NFL, Steelers organization, and of course Ben himself.

But if you observe this press conference closely, it seems as if the D.A. feels differently. In my humble opinion, the demeanor if this prosecutor reveals a bit of hesitation to in the investigation; if not disappointment. If you watched the majority of statement Bright gave, not only did he give the details of alleged incident, he referred to Roethlisberger’s accuser as the “victim”—several times. He described Ben’s initial statement to the authorities; Roethlisberger said he remembers the female being “too drunk to be back here” and “seeing her fall down and hit her head.” In all actuality though, the accuser had a full examination at the hospital. Not only did she not complain of any pain, there was no head injury.

In addition to the horrid details of tPhotobuckethe police report, the Georgia officer who first investigated the incident was forced to resign for inappropriate statements. Sergeant Jerry Blash(pictured with Roethlisberger below)
said that Roethlisberger “has a lot of money” and that the accuser would be “wasting her time doing a police report.”

Even though Roethlisberger will not face charges, the court of public opinion may have already convicted him. If so, they have their reasons.

As you may or may not know, this is not the first case of recklessness and irresponsibility on the part of Ben Roethlisberger. There is a civil suit in Lake Tahoe still pending regarding an alleged sexual assault that took place in 2008. Also, there was the motorcycle accident in 2006 that almost cost him his life. Not only was he told by legendary Steelers QB Terry Bradshaw to wait until “he retires” to ride the cycle, he was not wearing a helmet and was riding without a valid license.

Going back to the Georgia incident, there are things that concern me. First off, Milledgeville, Georgia is a COLLEGE town. Now I understand that as long as you are of age, you are free to party or hang out wherever you please. But the fact that a 28 year-old man gets his kicks drinking with 21 and 22 year old females on a college campus is…well a little questionable. According to the police report, he told the sorority girls(with whom the accuser was accompanying), to “take some shots”. Of course it was their choice to get intoxicated along with Ben, but this plays into the image we already have of him taking advantage of females. One could ask; Why do you have to get them drunk to have a good time with them?

To say that the alleged victim has no fault in what may or may not have took place in that bathroom, would be naive. Regardless of Ben’s innocence(or guilt) she was intoxicated. She, along with the people in that club, chose to drink irresponsibly. And we, as females, have to know that the possibility of a person taking advantage of us only increases when we get inebriated. However, she only had to say “no” once. If he continued to violate her, he was in the wrong, no matter how much alcohol was involved.

Of course, there is more speculation to this than what we know for a fact. Recklessness though, has been a pattern of behavior when it comes to Roethlisberger. The question of whether or not Ben Roethlisberger should receive punishment from the NFL is almost obsolete. The question is how much(or many). Even though there will be no criminal prosecution, the NFL has already set a standard; Pacman Jones had multiple run-ins with the authorities, but never a conviction. He was suspended for the entire 2007 season. Do I think Roethlisberger should be suspended for all of 2010? Not necessarily. Since there will not even be charges, I believe 4-6 games would be appropriate. The suspension handed down from Commissioner Goodell will most likely be conditional; meaning he will specify the number of games, but it could be cut short depending on Ben’s behavior.

Legally, there is nothing you can really say regarding the question of Ben Roethlisberger’s guilt or innocence. Nothing has been proven; except irresponsibility and maybe a little hardheadedness. However, this does not mean that NFL fans and other people with interest in this story do not have the right to raise questions about his character. Even at 28, it seems as if he has a lot of maturing to do. Like D.A. Fred Bright stated in his press conference; “we do not prosecute morals, we prosecute crimes”. This is certainly is true for the District Attorney’s office; but one more incident like this, and court of public opinion may convict him regardless; no matter if the allegations can be proven or not.

3 Responses to “Big Ben: What to think.”
  1. Erinne Marie says:

    Me personally I think he may have done it because why else would you waste your time doing a report if it never happened? I mean twice within 2 years is questionable,as well as him partying in a college town with 21,22 year olds (like you said).If it turns out that he did do it he deserves to be in a lot of trouble because this isn’t something to take lightly.

  2. Nicole says:

    The thing is we will never really know for sure. They have ended the investigation, so there is nothing else but speculation left. But that speculation is based off of some gory details in that police report given by the accuser. And plus, if you watched the press conference, the D.A. kept referring to her as the “VICTIM”….as if he truly believes her. That’s what it seemed like to me. Like he believed her, but just did not have enough evidence.

  3. Erinne Marie says:

    Yeah your right we will never know the truth and yeah I did notice that he kept referring to her as the victim.

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