More on ‘Tone, Roethlisberger and Rooney

The Steelers are the new Bengals, so have declared Mike Florio and the Post Gazette’s Ron Cook.

While the Steelers have never really had a zero tolerance policy for off the field conduct issues – just think of Ernie Holmes shooting at police officers from a moving car in the 1970’s – they have prided themselves at running a cleaner shop than most.

During the 1990’s they quickly rid themselves of Tim Worley and Bam Morris for off the field drug problems and they also let Eric Green go his own way as a free agent, albeit football reasons fueled that decision as much as off the field considerations.

Recently they’ve cut ties with Cedric Wilson and Gary Russell, neither of whom was convicted of a crime, but both of whom found themselves in some highly questionable circumstances (of course there were witnesses to Wilson’s incident, Russell’s situation was more nebulous.)

The Steelers of course took a lot of heat for seeming to excuse James Harrison for the same crime that Wilson had committed, but the truth be told Dan Rooney’s verbal miscue caught more attention than the apparent double standard.

Rooney Getting No Relief

Art Rooney II clearly must wish the stories on Santonio Holmes and Roethlisberger would just disappear but, alas, they will not.

The Steelers and the Rooney family now confront the biggest challenge to their reputation for integrity, at least in the court of public opinion, in a long, long time.

It is easy to speculate about what they can, should, will or might do depending on how the judicial process works its will.

But until the courts and/or the local Georgia district’s attorney office makes some firm decision, I will withhold on making predictions or recommendations.

The Roethlisberger sexual assault case has progressed unusually slowly, and that makes it all the more frustrating as so few objective facts are known. More is known about Holmes’ case, which only muddles things more.

Holmes Situation Not Clear

The facts of the alleged incident Santonio Holmes were made public as the Orlando police have closed their investigation, and they are strange to say the least.

The woman claims that Holmes threw a glass at her, cutting her face, and says she did not press charges under pressure. She also says Holmes offered money not to press charges.

Holmes denies this, accuses the woman of using racial slurs, in claims that someone else threw the glass.

Pretty much a “he says” “she says”affair up until now. But wait, there’s more….

  • The police report of the incident was not filed until well after the incident, a fact that has yet to be explained.
  • Moreover, one account has ‘Tone and the accuser touching affectionately afterwards
  • And the lawsuit was filed for $15,000.

What lawyer files lawsuits for $15,000? I am not an expert on legal fees, but what little I know tells me that the lawyer’s contingency fee would be eaten up before pretrial motions even got into second gear.

This is perplexing. It looks like Holmes is probably only guilty of a poor choice of company. But the lack of clarity does not help given Holmes track record with the law.

Truly unfortunate.

Program Note

Long time WMAL/WTEM sports radio personality Ken Beatrice used to apologies to his listeners for “not having gone to law school so that I could bring you the sports news.”

A law degree would come in right handy right now for anyone covering the Steelers.

I have no law degree, opting for gradual school over law school sixteen years ago, but starting with today’s post, Steel Curtain Rising will now have a “Steelers Judiciary” tag added were ever it is relevant.

It is necessary, but nonetheless unfortunate.

What It All Means As Told by Others

Behind the Steel Curtain sets the standard for Steelers fans sites, and two posts from today show why. Blitzburgh, the site’s founder, pondered Santonio Holmes situation at length, and his article is worth checking out.

Maryrose (who, apparently is actually a man) wrote (another) a truly outstanding article assessing how the Steelers current situation fits in with the legacy of the team. Well worth the read. Check it out.

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