FILE - In this Jan. 5, 2008 file photo, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger reacts as the Jacksonville Jaguars kick a game-winning field goal during the fourth quarter of an NFL wild card playoff football game in Pittsburgh. A 20-year-old college student has accused Roethlisberger of sexually assaulting her at a nightclub early Friday, March 5, 2010, during a night on the town near where he owns a lake home. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)
As the story behind the latest allegation of sexual assault against Ben Roethlisberger unravels, sports pundits have been careful to not declare the star quarterback guilty of any crime.
But that hasn't stopped them from lecturing the Pittsburgh Steelers' two-time Super Bowl champ. Here's a look at some of the condemnation:
Sports Illustrated's Don Banks thinks Big Ben has been "very guilty" of "serial bad judgement." "He doesn't seem to know what's good for him, and he clearly doesn't respect the notion that there are boundaries of where he should be, when he should be there, and who he should be with," he writes. "The lesson here seems simple, Ben: Sometimes trouble finds you. Sometimes you find the trouble. Either way, it's trouble all the same."
FoxSports says Roethlisberger is guilty of "being a jerk." "And the best thing you can say here is that Big Ben's a big dope, a jackass who has jeopardized his precious beef-jerky endorsement," the article reads.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ron Cook takes issue with the QB's choices. "I don't have to wait for the legal proceedings to fully take their course for me to pronounce Roethlisberger guilty of poor judgment," he writes. "There is only trouble out there at 2 a.m. That is especially true for someone with Roethlisberger's high-profile status...It's time he grows up."
The Atlantic's Ta-Nehisi Coates reserves judgement, for now. "I'm struggling to muster much condemnation. I did some incredibly, incredibly dumb s*** as a twenty-something," he writes. "I think it's worth recognizing that most athletes aren't fending off two different charges of sexual assault. That doesn't mean guilt and my instinct is to say that brothers need to chill at the crib. But older I get, the more I think some of this is just who people are."
Sporting News' Mike Florio seems to assume that there is indeed some guilt on Roethlisberger's part -- and offers a solution. "So the best approach would be for Roethlisberger's lawyers to commence a dialogue with the alleged victim's lawyer and settle the case -- now," he suggests. "The point here is that the mess has been made, and now Roethlisberger must decide how to clean it up, whether he's guilty or innocent or a little bit of both."