Steelers president Art Rooney II delivered a clear message to embattled QB Ben Roethlisberger on Thursday. Roethlisberger will be disciplined by the Steelers and the NFL, but he’ll be given a second chance by the team.
Rooney delivered a statement at a planned news conference, saying any disciplinary action brought against Roethlisberger will be coordinated with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Rooney said after talking with Goodell, who wants “at least a couple of weeks” to review the matter, that he doesn’t expect a final decision on any disciplinary action until the week after the draft, “at the earliest.”
“I’ve made it clear to Ben that his conduct in this incident did not live up to our standards,” Rooney said. “We’ve made it very clear to Ben there will be consequences for his actions. And Ben has indicated to us he’s willing to accept those consequences.
“As you may be aware, Ben has rejoined the team to participate in our offseason conditioning program. We allowed Ben to do this after we were convinced he was sincerely contrite for his actions, as well as having Ben’s assurance he is fully committed to working hard every day to regain the trust and respect of this organization and Steelers fans.”
Although he used the phrase “any disciplinary action” several times, Rooney was forthcoming that some type of discipline will be brought against Roethlisberger. Rooney said after “imposing an appropriate level” of discipline and hinting at other necessary steps for Roethlisberger, which could mean counseling, the organization would allow him an opportunity to regain the trust of the organization and Steelers fans.
The entire news conference last about 15 minutes, with Rooney taking questions following his statement. Here’s a link to his full statement.