Chris DeNicola, denicocj@muohio.edu

Ben Roethlisburger should be fined and suspended by the NFL following the second accusation of sexual assault in the past two years. This recent accusation comes from a 21-year-old college female who said she was lead into a bathroom by his security guard where Roethlisburger followed and proceeded to assault her. As of today (I’m writing this on April 14), she has decided not to press charges because she doesn’t want the attention of the media circus. That’s understandable. However, the fact Roethlisburger has put himself in two separate situations to be accused of sexually assaulting girls is absolutely unacceptable behavior. It is a disgrace to the NFL, the Steelers and to the students of Miami University.

The fact that he gets praised for his two Super Bowl wins and the best football season Miami has had in a long time infuriates me. Sexual assault is a terrible crime that statistically affects one in six women and one in 33 men throughout their lifetimes. Nearly 60 percent of sexual assaults go unreported. He’s had two that have been reported but charges were then dropped. Sure, maybe Big Ben is a big target. Who knows what really happened behind the closed door of that bathroom. But for him to stand up and say in a press conference that he was glad the charges were dropped and he just wanted to get back to his teammates completely takes away from the fact that he put himself in a position to be accused of such a terrible crime. He should not be allowed back on the field until he is punished for his behavior.

I am outraged one of our university’s most recognizable and successful alumnus would be involved in such acts. It all stems from his idea that apparently he can do whatever he pleases. When he comes back to Miami people treat him like he walks on water. One of the last times Roethlisburger was here, he verbally abused a bouncer at an uptown bar (a friend of mine who still works there) when he was asked to show identification and pay cover like everyone else.

I am embarrassed to say he graduated from Miami and disrespects our school by acting the way he does. He shouldn’t be praised or invited to the university until he realizes he cannot act that way. Again, I believe he should be fined and suspended this upcoming season for his actions off the field. Regardless of whether or not there was any trial or conviction he has already tarnished his reputation and betrayed the trust of all of his fans. Usually where there’s smoke there’s fire — Roethlisburger’s fire needs to be put out before another girl becomes a victim.  

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