Last March, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was accused of, but not charged with, sexually assaulting a 20-year-old woman in a Georgia nightclub. The documents released by investigators chronicle a night of, at best, boorish behavior. In refusing to press charges, the woman's attorney said her client was concerned about intrusive attention that would come from a trial.
"The media coverage to date, and the efforts of the media to access our client, have been unnerving, to say the least," wrote the attorney in a letter to prosecutors less than two weeks after the incident.
Despite the lack of a charge, the NFL suspended Roethlisberger for four games - reduced from six - under the league's personal conduct policy. In a letter to Roethlisberger, league commissioner Roger Goodell wrote, "There is nothing about your conduct that can remotely be described as admirable, responsible or consistent with the values of the league."
In detailing Roethlisberger's return from suspension and subsequent run to the Super Bowl, some reporters have used the term "overcoming adversity," as though the suspension was like an injury or family tragedy. CBSSports.com ran a column last week that included the line "The recipe for redemption in the NFL is quite simple: Behave yourself and win big."
But, as the Super Bowl approaches, Packers fans might want to resist making a big deal over Roethlisberger's indiscretions. Earlier this week, the Associated Press reported that investigators are nearly done processing evidence in a sexual assault case from the summer involving Green Bay cornerback Brandon Underwood and two women at a Lake Delton condo.