Tomlin: 'I'm highly concerned for our franchise and for Ben'

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin expressed anxiety over the sexual-assault allegation leveled at quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, telling NFL Network's Jennifer Allen on Saturday, "I'm highly concerned for our franchise and for Ben personally."

Tomlin didn't want to say too much about the situation, acknowledging that police in Milledgeville, Ga., are still investigating a 20-year-old female college student's accusation against Roethlisberger.

"My concerns are many, but I think at this time it's kind of appropriate to watch these things and let these things run their course," Tomlin said after arriving in Orlando, Fla., for the NFL Annual Meeting, which starts Sunday. "I think it would be inappropriate for me to have strong feelings one way or another with the investigation being ongoing and so forth. Like everyone else, you watch these things unfold."

Tomlin's statements echoed what Steelers president Art Rooney told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Thursday.

"I mean, look, that's one of the things, we do have a little bit of luxury of time," Rooney said. "If we were at a different point in the year, we may have to be thinking and doing something different. But at the moment, I think we're in a situation we're going to let this investigation play out and then go from there."

No criminal charges have been filed in the case, in which the woman accused Roethlisberger, 28, of sexually assaulting her in a Georgia nightclub earlier this month. Roethlisberger's attorney, Ed Garland, has said his client hasn't committed a crime.

Roethlisberger also is facing a civil lawsuit in Nevada, stemming from an alleged sexual assault in 2008. Attorney Calvin Dunlap, who represents the woman in that case, told KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh that Georgia Bureau of Investigation officials contacted him Monday looking to interview his client.

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