Lawyer apologizes for Steelers' Harrison
Through his lawyer, James Harrison apologized for the fight with his girlfriend that resulted in the Steelers linebacker's arrest on simple assault and criminal mischief charges.
"I initially told him that my advice was he not speak with any of the media nor that I speak with any of the media, and he felt strongly that I convey his contrition and his regret regarding the incident, Harrison's lawyer, Bobby Del Greco, told the Tribune-Review on Monday.
Harrison admitted to hitting Beth Tibbot, 29, at her Ohio Township home, according to a police affidavit. Both of the charges he faces are misdemeanors.
A preliminary hearing that had been scheduled for Thursday has been postponed at Del Greco's request.
The 29-year-old Harrison could be disciplined by the NFL for the incident.
Spokesman Greg Aiello said Harrison's arrest is being reviewed by the NFL.
Commissioner Roger Goodell has made cracking down on players who get into trouble with the law a point of emphasis, and he has used the league's personal conduct policy to discipline them.
Harrison started every game at right outside linebacker for the Steelers last season, and he recorded 80 tackles and 8 1⁄2 sacks during the regular season. He made the Pro Bowl as a starter, and Steelers players voted Harrison as the team's MVP.
The Steelers have declined to comment on his arrest.
Tibbott, according to the affidavit, told police she locked herself in her bathroom after an argument and that Harrison broke into the room as she tried to call 911. According to the affidavit, Harrison snapped her cell phone in half and knocked off her glasses by slapping her across the face.
Del Greco called it an "isolated incident" and one that Harrison deeply regrets.
"I think, truth be told, if he had that day back, he would not have gone over there," Del Greco said, "and I think James, by all accounts, is a good guy who just feels badly about the whole episode."
Del Greco said there is a chance the matter could be resolved at the preliminary hearing, which has yet to be rescheduled.
Harrison declined to comment on his arrest Sunday when the Tribune-Review asked him about it at his Franklin Park home.
"He, of course, doesn't condone domestic violence," Del Greco said, "and I think is bothered and upset with the fact that his name is associated with that phrase."
The 6-foot, 242-pound Harrison turned into a somewhat improbable success story last season.
Cut three different times by the Steelers, he didn't stick with the team for good until 2004.
A former undrafted free agent, Harrison took over for Joey Porter at right outside linebacker last season and emerged as one of the top players on a unit that finished first in the NFL in total defense.
His best game came in November ,when Harrison had 3 1⁄2 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and an interception in the Steelers' 38-7 win over the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field.
Show commenting policy
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.
- Steelers’ Harrison awaits go-ahead from Tomlin before practicing
- Slot cornerback Boykin should give Steelers options in secondary
- Inside the Steelers: Roethlisberger strong in goal-line drills
- Steelers notebook: WR Bryant sidelined after minor procedure on right elbow
- After early criticism, Haley has Steelers offense poised to be even better
- Ability to clog the trenches crucial to Steelers defense
- Steelers swap draft pick for Eagles cornerback
- Inside the Steelers: QB Jones continues to get majority of snaps
- Steelers notebook: Officials discuss new game ball procedures
- Steelers notebook: Injuries finally become issue at training camp
- Steelers OLB coach Porter teaches as passionately as he played