Share This Page

Rooney's words fail to thrill Steelers fans

At 2:30 p.m. Thursday, everything came to a halt inside Jerome Bettis' Grille 36, a sports bar owned by the former Steelers running back and located across the street from Heinz Field.

Customers and staff gazed up at the multiple television screens waiting to see what Steelers president Art Rooney II would say about his embattled quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger. Would the team suspend him• Would it be a lesser form of punishment• Would the Steelers, as remote as it seemed, announce a trade?

With the sound loudly piped into the restaurant, Rooney appeared behind a podium at team headquarters and proclaimed ... nothing very dramatic. He said "disciplinary action" would be forthcoming. But he did not elaborate, except to say that such action will be coordinated with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and no announcement would be made until after next week's NFL Draft.

Oh, and he also talked about the Santonio Holmes trade.

"Anti-climactic," said Phil Sauvengot, 39, a Steelers fan from Steubenville, Ohio. "I want closure."

Dan Williams, a waiter, was more pointed. "It was nonsense," he said.

Williams, 26, who lives in Pittsburgh, said he resented Rooney "justifying" the Holmes deal while also passing the buck to the commissioner and not dealing with Roethlisberger directly.

"If they're waiting for Goodell, I think the Steelers are going against what they say they stand for," he said. "They're basically wiping their hands of it."

Williams, who is African-American, said he is watching the situation closely to see how Roethlisberger is treated compared with African-American players Goodell has suspended.

"It'll be interesting to see what happens to the white poster boy of the franchise," he said.

Tiffany Welsh, who was tending bar, said she wanted some resolution but believes "the Rooneys are not gonna put up with any B.S."

That's also what she's hoping for.

"I think what should happen is he should be benched for a season without pay," said Welsh, 31, who is from Pittsburgh.

Even if it means a losing season?

"It's the principle of the fact," she said. "My daughter is six, and she's a Steelers fan. Do you want to put a (Roethlisberger) jersey on your kid after everything that's been said?"

Meanwhile, Penn Hills High School senior defensive lineman Aaron Donald, a Pitt recruit, said by telephone that although he still likes Roethlisberger "as a football player" and "would shake his hand," he expected him to conduct himself better.

"They should be role models for future players like me trying to make it at that level," Donald said.

Chris Harlan contributed to this report.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.