NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has suspended Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for six games for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy. The suspension is conditional, and the number of games Roethlisberger actually misses will depend on how the quarterback conducts himself before and during his suspension. Goodell could reduce the number of games to four based on Roethlisberger's conduct.
The suspension comes on the heels of Roethlisberger' second sexual assault charge in as many years, although no charges were filed in either case.
A 20-year old college student accused Roethlisberger of sexual assaulting her in a nightclub in Georgia in March, but local prosecutors declined to bring charges, apparently due to lack of evidence that would allow a case against Roethlisberger to be proven in court. The quarterback is also being sued by a woman who alleged that she was sexually assaulted by him at a hotel in Lake Tahoe in 2008. Roethlisberger denied those allegations, and has filed a countersuit.
The Steelers are reportedly listening to offers to trade Roethlisberger, and have re-signed former backup Byron Leftwich. The Steelers also have quarterbacks Dennis Dixon and Charlie Batch on the roster.
In a letter to Roethlisberger, Goddell explained his decision.
""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," Goodell wrote.