STATE COLLEGE, CENTRE COUNTY - Hours after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell handed down a conditional 6 game suspension to Steelers Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger people in State College were sounding off. The suspension comes on the heels of rape allegations a 20 year-old woman made to police about Roethlisberger last month. The prosecutor in that case said there was not enough evidence to file criminal charges.
Many fans said nothing could change their alegiance to the Steelers, but they said Big Ben's "party-boy" behavior leaves a lot to be desired. Those fans thought Goodell could have been harder on Big Ben, even though the Super Bowl winner will not face police charges.
"I think that a year's suspension and a big fine would make him know that if he doesn't improve, or if he doesn't see the situation, the brevity of it, that he may be traded or taken off the team," Sandra Griep of State College said.
Others thought Goodell treated Roethlisberger fairly, noting that the quarterback did bring negative attention to the NFL, but was never arrested."I think that that's fair. I think that that's ok, he has been getting a bad rap, and then again he might not, I think only Ben and the women know," Heidi Urbanski of State College said.
One man we found thought the NFL may have had an ulterior motive with the harsh penalty for the 6 year NFL starter."I know that this was in the news quite a bit, so if there doing this as more of like a PR issue, I definitely think that is wrong," Brian Depo, a Penn State Student, said.
All fans agree it will be next to impossible for Big Ben's image to recover from the past seven weeks worth of bad publicity.