Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been suspended for six games for violating the NFL Personal Conduct Policy. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell could reduce the penalty to a four game suspension if he chooses, but Roethlisberger stands to lose nearly $3 million if he does miss all six games.

Ben Roethlisberger (Photo: SteelCityHobbies - Wikimedia Commons)

Ben Roethlisberger (Photo: SteelCityHobbies - Wikimedia Commons)

The suspension stems from accusations by a 20-year-old college student that Ben Roethlisberger assaulted her in a Milledgeville, GA bar. The woman claims Roethlisberger raped her in the bar’s bathroom after purchasing drinks for her and other underage girls. She later asked police not to prosecute the case and the Georgia District Attorney investigating the case declined to pursue Roethlisberger on sexual assault charges.

A spokesperson for the NFL announced the news of Ben Roethlisberger’s suspension in relation to the alleged incident on Wednesday. In a letter to Roethlisberger, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said 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.”

“There is no question that the excessive consumption of alcohol that evening put the students and yourself at risk,” Goodell said in the letter. “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.”

Ben Roethlisberger has also been banned from the Pittsburgh Steelers offseason workout sessions. Commissioner Goodell will reportedly be keeping tabs on Roethlisberger and could decide to shorten his suspension or allow him to resume working out with the team. We hope not. This isn’t the first time Roethlisberger has found himself in hot water over allegedly sexually assaulting a woman. Where there’s smoke, repeatedly, well… you know the saying.

The Steelers recently traded for quarterback Byron Leftwich in anticipation of having to cover for Roethlisberger. Leftwich and backup quarterback Dennis Dixon will duke it out to see who can best fill Roethlisberger’s shoes for the team’s first games against Atlanta, Tennessee, Tampa Bay and Baltimore.

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