When Roger Goodell decided to suspend Ben Roethlisberger for violating the NFL's Personal Conduct Policy, the suspension was set for six games.
Goodell then added that Ben Roethlisberger would have to undergo counseling, and if there were no problems found, then he would be able to return to the Steelers for the rest of training camp.
Goodell then added that if Roethlisberger were to stay out of trouble prior to the season, the suspension could be reduced to as few as four games.
So, why would Roger Goodell reduce the suspension to four games? Here is why.
Ben Roethlisberger immediately spoke with the counselor that the NFL wanted him to speak with.
He was even asked to come back for additional sessions, and he did so, even though it was not required by the league.
Ben Roethlisberger was hit with the largest suspension for a player that was never even charged with a crime.
Many people believe that if Ben Roethlisberger would have appealed the suspension, then the league would have had to over turn the suspension, or at least reduce it.
If nothing else, they could have gotten the suspension down to four games, which is exactly where Goodell said he could take it down to.
If a player is caught taking PEDs (performance enhancing drugs), they are not even suspended the first time. They are fined, and instructed to seek counseling.
On the second offense, they are suspended for four games.
The only thing that is certain in the Ben Roethlisberger situation is that he had bad judgment.
Why should a player that makes mistakes off the field be suspended longer than players that cheat on the field?
In late March, Shaun Rogers was arrested for allegedly attempting to bring a loaded weapon onto an airplane.
The gun was loaded, cocked, and ready to fire. (http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2010/04/browns_shaun_rogers_loaded_gun.html)
This is not Rogers' first discrepancy with the NFL. In 2006, Rogers was suspended for four games by the NFL for violating the leagues PED policy.
Though the official suspension from the NFL has not come down, Rogers was arrested and charged, which did not happen to Roethlisberger.
In early June, Vince Young was with friends at a strip club. One of the club's security guards showed Young an upside down Longhorn symbol, which was seen by Young as a sign of disrespect to Texas University, Young's old school.
Young proceeded to get into a fight with the man, and the entire incident was caught on camera.
Some people think that this was Young's first offense, and technically, they are wrong.
At the beginning of the 2009 season, while Young was the back up, he was not taking it very well.
He left the Titans facility in a poor state of mind, and Jeff Fisher and Young's family were worried that he was going to hurt himself.
Matters were made worse when it was found out that Young had a loaded gun with him.
Remember, under the PCP, the player does not have to be arrested or charged with a crime. If they do anything that would view the NFL to be seen in a bad light, that is just cause for suspension.
Mike Vick was the first player that was severely punished by the NFL under the the Personal Conduct Policy.
Vick's suspension was one of the most severe the NFL has ever dished out.
At Vick's birthday in late June, one of his former associates,Quanis Phillips, who was also found guilty, was shot.
Vick was told that he was not permitted to associate with any of his "Bad Newz Kennels" partners.
Vick has stated that he was long gone from the club when Phillips was shot, however, video shows that Vick left less than five minutes before the shooting.
The longer the suspension to Roethlisberger, the worse this is going look if Vick is not suspended again.
On May 3, 2008, Benson was arrested for DUI, when he failed a sobriety test while boating in Austin, TX. During the incident, the police found it necessary to use pepper spray on Benson when he resisted arrest.
On June 7, 2008, Benson was again arrested for DUI.
During the end of May, 2010, Benson again was in Austin, TX. And again, Benson has been arrested; this time, for allegedly punching a bartender in the face while being asked to leave a club.
Less than three months after Shaun Rogers was arrested for having a concealed weapon in an airport, another Cleveland Brown has been charged with the same crime.
Robaire Smith has been charged with the same crime as Shaun Rogers. Smith was actually with Rogers when Rogers was arrested earlier this year.
Smith was found to have the loaded weapon with him, and has been charged with having a firearm at a commercial airport.
Prior to suspending Roethlisberger, Goodell allowed the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to complete their inquiry.
The GBI stated that there is not enough evidence to get a conviction against Roethlisberger.
Goodell stated that it did not matter if a player is charged or not. Any actions that will make the NFL look bad are actions that he is going to suspend people for.
Yes, crimes against women are unacceptable. But the reality is, there is no evidence that Roethlisberger did anything illegal in the first place.
Shaun Rogers - Weapon was found on him.
Vince Young - Video evidence shows that he was in the fight.
Mike Vick - Evidence proves he violated the terms of his reinstatement.
Cedric Benson - Third alcohol involved incident in two years.
Robaire Smith - Weapon found on him.
In all of these cases, it is obvious that there is more evidence against all of these players.
When Goodell makes his ruling against any and all of these men, he is going to have to use the Roethlisberger suspension as the basis for their suspensions.
If none of these men are suspended, then there will be legal issues based on the fact that there was not enough evidence to even charge Roethlisberger, and all of the other men were caught with irrefutable evidence.
When suspending Roethlisberger, Roger Goodell stated that if Ben did all of the things that the NFL was asking him to do and he stayed out of trouble, that his suspension could be reduced.
There is no question that the intention of Goodell was to suspend Roethlisberger for four games, and the proof is in his actions.
Do you think it was a coincidence that the Steelers' bye week is in week five?
Do you think that the schedule coming out almost two weeks late had nothing to do with it?
Do you really think that Roethlisberger was not going to do everything the NFL had asked him to do?
Goodell wanted to make an example out of Roethlisberger, so that other players in the NFL would see that Goodell would suspend one of the NFL's premier players.
Apparently, that did not work at all, as you see that other players have not stayed out of trouble.