Roethlisberger works out at Hampton
Suspended Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has moved from the team's South Side training facility to Hampton High School's Fridley Field for workouts during his four-game NFL ban.
Hampton athletic director Bill Cardone confirmed that Roethlisberger, a Hampton resident, has worked out at the field twice since the embattled two-time Super Bowl champion contacted the school last week, asking for permission to use its facilities.
Roethlisberger was suspended for the first four games of the regular season for violating the league's personal conduct policy and is not allowed to interact with the Steelers for the duration of the suspension. In the past offseason, he was accused of -- but not charged with -- sexual assault after a night of drinking at a college bar in Milledgeville, Ga.
Despite Roethlisberger's high-profile status and much-publicized, off-the-field issues, Cardone said he had no issue letting him use the field.
"Obviously, he's a resident, and our field is open to residents," Cardone said. "He just contacted me to make sure it was OK."
Cardone added that Roethlisberger had called before using the field to make sure his workouts with new quarterbacks coach George Whitfield Jr. of California wouldn't be conflicting with gym classes or practices on the field.
"He's a high-profile guy, but he was very humble and didn't want to interrupt anything we were doing at the stadium," he said.
But Roethlisberger hasn't completely avoided interacting with his new hosts.
On Thursday, Roethlisberger voluntarily spoke at the Hampton football team meeting known as "the huddle." The weekly gathering is described by Talbots coach Jacque DeMatteo as a spin-off of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes organization and allows coaches and players to discuss various on-the-field and off-the-field issues in a religious light.
Roethlisberger's attendance at the meeting was welcome, though DeMatteo had some initial concerns that eventually subsided.
"At first, I had some reservations, to be honest with you, just because of the whole situation," he said. "He really spoke from his heart about some of the mistakes in his past. I think he was trying to rectify some of the mistakes in his past. With our boys, I think he made a connection.
"Ben divulged information to us about his own personal life, like losing his mother when he was young. You put him on a pedestal, and you forget he is human."
Roethlisberger was unable to be reached for a comment. His agent, Ryan Tollner, said the quarterback's low profile is part of the strategy they've put in place during the suspension.
"I hope that people will respect that he's trying to keep his head down and go to work and ready to play when he's going to play," Tollner said. "He doesn't feel he deserves credit for the things he's doing, for speaking from his heart."
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 notebook: Safety Mitchell faces former team, hurts leg
- Preseason valuable for Steelers’ offensive line
- Rossi: Steelers will make small strides this season
- Steelers have plenty of new faces at wide receiver
- Steelers’ Polamalu downplays emotional outburst
- Former longtime Steelers publicist Kiely dies
- Steelers wrap lackluster preseason with loss to Panthers