NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says he will decide soon whether to punish Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for his off-the-field troubles. "I think he understands how important the personal-conduct policy is to the NFL," Goodell said while attending a dinner honoring Steelers chairman Dan Rooney on Wednesday night. "And I hope he has a better understanding of how important it is for everybody in the league.
"We’ll continue to gather more information. We’ll continue to have that analysis done and we’ll consider it and make a decision in the near future. We like to be thorough. We like to be sure we fully understand it. We’ve talked to, obviously, the player. We’ll talk to the players association. I think anytime you can get more input into the various factors that are going on, the better decision you’ll make."
Goodell and Roethlisberger met for several hours Tuesday in New York, one day after Roethlisberger learned he would not be charged for the alleged sexual assault of a Georgia college student.
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While Roethlisberger faces no criminal charges, he remains involved in a Nevada civil suit that alleges he sexually assaulted a hotel employee there. The NFL could punish the two-time Super Bowl winner under its code of conduct.
Rooney, the U.S. ambassador to Ireland and longtime Steelers executive, called it "a serious matter" but had little to say about Roethlisberger. His son, team president Art Rooney II, is known to be angry about the quarterback’s repeated problems.
"It’s being handled properly with Art, Mike (Tomlin, the coach) and Kevin Colbert (the Steelers director of football operations)," Rooney said. "I think they’re handling it very well. The commissioner, as you know, saw Ben. I don’t have any more to say."