PITTSBURGH (AP) — DVDs? What DVDs?
That, generally, was the reaction of several Pittsburgh Steelers asked about more than 50 audio recordings and DVDs released Wednesday by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation from its investigation of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Roethlisberger was accused of sexually assaulting a college student during a night of partying in the small Georgia town of Milledgeville on March 5. No charges were filed against Roethlisberger, but he did receive a six-game suspension from the NFL for his behavior.
The GBI released DVDs to the media showing video and audio recordings of the interviews that were conducted, along with photos from the scene and surveillance tapes.
The release of the information drew little reaction at the Steelers' minicamp Wednesday.
Roethlisberger didn't take questions and was escorted from the indoor training field on a rainy day by a team spokesman. Wide receiver Hines Ward spent more time talking about a rained-out charity softball game, and safety Troy Polamalu spoke mostly about returning from a season-ending knee injury.
"It's not even something that's being discussed," backup quarterback Charlie Batch said of the release of the investigative information.
Why? "Because it has nothing to do with football," he said.
Willie Colon, the only teammate with Roethlisberger at the Georgia nightclub, said he learned only Wednesday morning that the DVDs, including one of his police interview, were being released to the public, and hasn't had a chance to speak with Roethlisberger about it.
"I had no idea that it was going to be released to the public," Colon said. "So, whatever comes out, comes out and I'm going to go accordingly."
Tight end Heath Miller thought a reporter was asking him about an official team video.
"Oh, I didn't know what you were talking about," Miller said. "I thought you were talking about a highlight DVD or something."
Asked about the DVDs, Polamalu said, "It's the first time I've heard of it."
Polamalu doesn't think players are ignoring the issue specifically. He said athletes just tune out the media — period — an ironic comment from perhaps the most polite, media-friendly member of the Steelers.
"I think it's the nature of any athlete not to pay attention to what the media says, whether it's talking about who's gonna win the game, who's weak, who's good, who's bad ...," Polamalu said.
Ward said he wasn't aware of the DVDs until someone mentioned it to him before he spoke to reporters.
"But it'd be cool kind of to watch and see if you was interested in it but, it's not going to change the fact that he's still suspended," he said. "I mean, so, to be honest it really doesn't matter."
Still, Ward believes the experience — and the suspension — have changed Roethlisberger.
"When you take the game of football away from somebody, it's very humbling," Ward said. "I know he's itching at the bit to get back out on the field and to have success like he's had over the years."
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.
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