IT APPEARS THAT a youth football camp in Pittsburgh has dropped Ben Roethlisberger like a pass across the middle to Ricky Watters.
For who? Well, the Steelers quarterback is being replaced by his head coach, Mike Tomlin, as the headliner of the summer camp at Mars Area High School.
For what? Camp officials didn't come right out and say so, but it may have something to do with Roethlisberger being accused of sexually assaulting a 20-year-old college student in Milledgeville, Ga., in March. He was not charged, but the NFL has suspended him for the first six games of the 2010 season for violating the league's personal conduct policy.
Yesterday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said he expects to decide within a week when Roethlisberger can rejoin the team for offseason workouts. But, Goodell's decision will have no effect on the camp. Ben is out, Mike is in.
"At the request of Ben Roethlisberger, I have agreed to host this year's youth football camp," Tomlin said in a statement given to the Associated Press. "Ben has expressed his hopes that this outstanding community program can continue despite his absence as he addresses issues regarding his personal life."
It isn't known if any of the camp sponsors balked at being associated with Roethlisberger. But Jake Moylan, the coordinator for ProCamps, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that "under the circumstances" Roethlisberger asked Tomlin to take over.
He's smart . . . and generous
Like a lot of NFL rookies, Titans safety Myron Rolle is already spending lots of money. Unlike most, he's putting it toward a good cause.
Rolle, a Rhodes scholar out of Florida State, was a sixth-round draft pick. The fact that he hasn't yet signed a contract didn't stop him from making donations to help Tennessee's flood victims.
Rolle, who gave $1,000 to both the Tennessee Emergency Response Fund and the Metro Nashville Disaster Response Fund, told the Associated Press that he's "not crazy wealthy" but that "it's very pertinent to help in a community."
- Tom Mahon
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