Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback

Ben Roethlisberger

said he got caught up in being a caricature called Big Ben, not the grounded player and person he once was, leading to his off-field problems - and affecting his play.

In his first detailed interviews since a Georgia college student accused him of sexually assaulting her in a nightclub bathroom on March 5, Roethlisberger told Pittsburgh TV stations KDKA and WTAE that he expects to be booed this season.

He also apologized extensively for his actions, and promised to become the role model he should have been throughout his career.

"I got caught up being Big Ben the whole time. I lost track of who Ben Roethlisberger was. It's not something I'm proud of," he told WTAE. "I've made mistakes, I know I have."

He said he wanted to apologize to fans for "being immature, for being dumb, for being young, for not knowing any better."

In other NFL news:

* Carolina wide receiver Muhsin Muhammad is retiring after spending 11 of his 14 seasons with the Panthers.

Philly File

* Keystone College righthander Sean Murphy, a product of North Catholic High, was drafted in the 33rd round of the Major League Baseball draft by Oakland.

Sport Stops

* Guy Boucher, who has just 1 year of pro coaching experience, was named coach of the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning.

* Kansas athletic director Lew Perkins, 65, plans to retire next year.

* Tanith Belbin and Ben Agosto, Olympic silver medalists in 2006, are retiring from competitive skating.

* Four-time champion Andy Roddick made his earliest exit in 9 years from the Queen's Club grass-court championships in London when he was ousted in the third round by 14th-seeded Dudi Sela, 6-4, 7-6 (8).