Jason Cole’s report that Ben Roethlisberger would receive his suspension by Tuesday is clearly bunk. Here I am on Wednesday, and still no suspension. However, don’t expect that to be the case for very long.
Sometime today it is expected that Commissioner Roger Goodell will hand down his suspension for Roethlisberger; One day after the release of the schedule, and one day before the annual draft. It’s just enough to keep people talking for today, but not take away from the fanfare surrounding the release or the draft.
We’ve known for a week or so now that it was a matter of how long Roethlisberger would be suspended rather than a matter of if he would be suspended, and today we’ll get that answer.
The suspension will likely be one of two possibilities. Either a) it’s a straight-up six-week suspension, or b) it’s a six-week suspension that has the possibility of becoming a four-week suspension if Roethlisberger satisfies certain conditions laid down by the commissioner.
It would most likely consist of staying out of any trouble, staying out of bars or clubs, and, you know, trying not to rape anyone else.
So, either way, I would expect Roethlisberger to be unavailable to the Steelers until Week 7. They could be expecting the same thing, which is why they traded for Byron Leftwich.
Roethlisberger and his camp has made it known that he would not fight any “reasonable” punishment handed down by the commissioner, but something tells me Ben could find six weeks just unreasonable enough to fight. That would, of course, be an awful mistake on his part.
He’s already been tried and convicted in the court of public opinion, and fighting the sentence handed down will continue to portray him as a guy who doesn’t believe the rules apply to him. It would show, to most, that he has not accepted responsibility for his actions and that he has no intentions — or no hope — to change.
But, we’ll deal with that when we get there. Which, hopefully, won’t be too much longer.
UPDATE: Roethlisberger has officially been suspended for six weeks with the possibility of making it four.