Earlier this year the Pittsburgh Steelers starting QB Big Ben Roethlisberger was accused of sexually assaulting a 20-year-old college student while at a bar in Milledgeville, GA. The accuser claimed Roethlisberger encouraged her and her friends to take numerous alcoholic shots before cornering her in the ladies room and assaulting her against her will. Obviously, Roethlisberger denied all accusations. The case proved to be messy, but in the end Big Ben was not formally charged on any accounts, but NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suspended him for the first six games of the 2010 season for violating the NFL’s “personal conduct” rules. The comish had said he would consider reducing the suspension if Roethlisberger attended league-mandated counseling sessions, adhered to league rules, and stayed out of trouble. Today that six-game suspension slapped on Big Ben Roethlisberger back in April has now been reduced to four games.
I THINK THIS IS OUT-FREAKING-RAGEOUS. I can’t tell if Roethlisberger is actually a rapist or if he is just stupid for getting himself into this kind of situation, but either way I think the six game suspension should have stood. “Oh, you didn’t jump on any women in the past six months? Great job Ben! You get to play two weeks earlier!” Are you kidding me? For any regular person in this kind of situation they are absolutely going to jail and for Big Ben… well, his suspension gets reduced which, to me, is sending yet another message that an “entitled” athlete can get away with murder. Letting him off is just enabling him to continue his demeaning attitude towards women which, apparently, he has been doing since his college days. WAKE UP CALL BEN! You’re a professional athlete (AND A HUMAN) in the spotlight, that kind of behavior is unacceptable. I just have never gotten a good vibe from this dude and now he’s getting rewarded for “behaving.” On another note, during his four game suspension Ben is not allowed to practice with the Steelers, attend games, have contact with teammates/coaches, or represent the team in any way. I’m thinking that unstructured, free time away from football is probably not going to be the best thing. Big Ben doesn’t have problems on the field, he has problems off the field. But, what do I know, right? Oh, by the way, Roethlisberger was also accused of sexual assault in 2008… Does anyone else see a creeptastic trend here, or is it just me?
On to Badboy #2: Jeremiah Masoli. The University of Oregon’s starting QB was dismissed from the team this past spring after being arrested for possession of marijuana. Masoli was still on the team despite previously pleading guilty to burglary, but after the weed incident and driving with a suspended license, head coach Chip Kelly had had enough. Masoli transferred to Ole Miss as a graduate student who had one year of athletic eligibility remaining. Under NCAA rules if a student-athlete transfers from one university to another following a dismissal, they are required to warm the bench for a year. Masoli submitted a waiver to the NCAA this summer on the grounds that he was entering graduate school at Ole Miss and that his major was “not offered at Oregon.” Initially, he was not granted permission to play for the Rebels in the 2010 season, but today the NCAA overruled themselves and made the decision that Masoli is immediately eligible to play. I’m sorry… didn’t you get DISMISSED for being arrested, TWICE? It’s not like this guy was unhappy at Oregon or was looking to move closer to home, he got kicked off the team! But yeah, you’re right NCAA, this badboy should definitely get to play. Frustrating!
- The Washington Nationals’ centerfielder Nyjer Morgan has been suspended eight games and fined an undisclosed amount on top of his previous seven game suspension for three wild incidents over the past week. 1.) August 21: Morgan intentionally throws a ball at a fan in the stands. 2.) August 31: Morgan runs over a catcher, when a slide was the obvious choice, and separates the catcher’s shoulder. 3.) September 1: Morgan charges the mound after a HBP and having a ball thrown behind him inducing a bench-clearing brawl. After the vicious dogpile was taken apart he was lead off the field with his jersey ripped open and arrogantly taunting the crowd. Come on man, control yourself. I know you’re a little guy, but come on man, figure out a different way to portray yourself as tough.
- At least twelve UNC football players are suspended for the Tar Heels 2010 season opener due to misconduct regarding professional agents and allegedly turning in papers that were written by tutors. So much for a promising season.
For real, people? Just because you’re an athlete doesn’t mean you get to act like a total bonehead. If anything you should be more aware of your behavior because being in a constant spotlight everything you do or say is looked at under a microscope. Plus, people look up to you! You are given an amazing opportunity to be a role model, USE IT FOR GOOD, NOT EVIL!