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Goodell wants meeting with Roethlisberger about legal issues

ORLANDO, Fla. -- NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell plans to meet with Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger about the star quarterback's off-the-field problems.

Goodell already has spoken with team owners about Roethlisberger, who's accused of assaulting a 20-year-old college student in a Milledgeville, Ga., nightclub on March 5. Roethlisberger's attorney says the quarterback committed no crime. Roethlisberger has yet to be interviewed by police in Gerogia, and charges haven't been filed.

"We take this issue very seriously," Goodell said Monday at the NFL Annual Meeting. "I am concerned that Ben continues to put himself in this position.

Tomlin 'highly concerned'

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin expressed anxiety Saturday over the sexual-assault allegation leveled at Ben Roethlisberger, saying,

"I'm highly concerned for

our franchise and for Ben personally." **More ...**

"I spoke with the Steelers and (team president) Art Rooney about it and, at some point, I will be meeting with Ben at the appropriate time."

Rooney has said the Steelers are "in a situation we're going to let this investigation play out and then go from there."

David Cornwell, Roethlisberger's lead attorney, said in a statement released Monday that he contacted the NFL when the most recent allegations were made against the quarterback.

"We agreed that I would keep the NFL apprised of all developments as they warrant," Cornwell said. "I believe the Commissioner will allow us to focus on matters in Georgia, but we look forward to meeting with him and addressing any concerns he may have."

Roethlisberger also is being sued by a woman who claims the quarterback raped her in 2008 at a Lake Tahoe hotel. Roethlisberger denies those allegations and has asked for counter-damages.

The latest alleged incident came during a 28th birthday party for Roethlisberger, who has a home about 30 miles from Milledgeville. The two-time Super Bowl champion's lawyer, Ed Garland, said he has hired his own investigative team.

Roethlisberger skipped voluntary workouts with the Steelers last week.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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