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Published: Sunday, 8/2/2009

Lessons learned in Roethlisberger case

There's little to be gained by speculating on what really happened in the Ben Roethlisberger case. Hopefully truth emerges and justice prevails. But until then, there's a lot to be learned by looking at what is fact - another sports star is in a big mess.

The very talents and traits that bring popularity and wealth also attract trouble. For Roethlisberger, it's his football skills and celebrity status; for the female VIP host, presumably her charm and good looks.

We make decisions each day that either protect us or place us in physical and spiritual trouble. We don't know if Roethlisberger or the woman are guilty of a crime, but we do know both were in the wrong place with the wrong person.

Parents, coaches and teachers advise younger people to walk the straight and narrow for good reason: there's enough trouble out there trying to find them they don't need to go looking for it. If they're abundantly blessed with talents and traits the world rewards, the more difficult it is to do what's right. Just look at the lives of sports, rock and movie stars. Our culture worships them like gods. Who wants their problems?

The world's temptations either weaken or strengthen our morality, depending on our response. The superstars who have developed character to overcome pride and vanity are worthy role models.

Every time an honorable decision is made and principled behavior follows, the moral muscle gets stronger. Frequent exercise keeps it in shape. Strength training for character development must be ongoing for all of us, even if we're not famous. All of us must choose between right and wrong, good and bad, daily. And these decisions affect others.



Since Mike Vick is allowed to play football again, when do we see Pete "Charlie Hustle" Rose inducted to the baseball hall of fame?



The Blade Sports department encourages your letters and comments. Letters must include the writer's name, address and telephone number. Send letters to: Sports editor, The Blade, P.O. Box 921, Toledo, OH, 43697-0921, or e-mail to sports@theblade.com.

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