Back in the beginning of March, Ben Roethlisberger was accused of sexual assault. Though no charges were ever pressed, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell believed that Roethlisberger's actions warranted a suspension, due to "conduct detrimental to the league."
It was not only Goodell but the Rooney family as well who instructed Roethlisberger that his chances with the Steelers organization were over, and any other infractions would mean the end of his Steelers career.
After meeting with Roethlisberger, Commissioner Goodell decided that the star quarterback's suspension would last six games. Provided that Roethlisberger stayed out of trouble, Goodell said at the time, the suspension could be reduced to four games.
The suspension was with the blessing of the Rooney family. The decision was made, everyone agreed, and that was the end of story.
Roethlisberger did not appeal the suspension, even though he could have.
After visiting the Steelers during training camp, Goodell stated at his press conference that Roethlisberger had done everything that the NFL had asked of him, and more. In a slip of the lip, Goodell even stated that the suspension could be less than the four games.
The reduced suspension talk became a major news story, being covered by many news outlets, including ESPN, Profootballtalk.com, and every other outlet, including right here, on Bleacher Report.
The NFL offices were quick to dismiss that, saying that there is no chance of a lesser suspension.
Multiple reports have said Goodell will meet with Roethlisberger on Friday, the day after the Steelers' final preseason game (and thus the first of Roethlisberger's suspension).
Profootballtalk.com has reported that Roethlisberger is going to ask for a reduced suspension. Now, normally I would have said, "No kidding? Did anyone expect anything less?" Roethlisberger will be going to the meeting with Goodell, not only with his representatives, but he will have some additional support that he did not have when Goodell made the decision to suspend Roethlisberger. Art Rooney II.
Some people may not see what the big deal is, but the fact that Rooney has included himself in meeting with Goodell speaks volumes, not only to his confidence in Roethlisberger but in the fact that Goodell and Rooney decided together what Roethlisberger's suspension would be.
It is reported that Roethlisberger is going to ask to have three games removed from the suspension, cutting the original suspension in half. That would mean, if the league reduces the suspension to three games, Roethlisberger will be available for the Steelers home game against the Baltimore Ravens.
One of the aces in the hole for Roethlisberger is that the commissioner has been pretty lenient toward other players in the NFL since suspending Roethlisberger. Shaun Rogers and Cedric Benson have both been charged with crimes to this point, and neither one even received a one-game suspension.
Either way, Friday afternoon the Steelers will know the fate of their star quarterback. This time going into the meeting, Roethlisberger has some great support with Rooney going with him.