View Full Version : Steelers' Rooney backs Harrison

10-22-2010, 03:14 PM
Not only does Steelers president Art Rooney disagree with the NFL's ruling on James Harrison's hit, but he also signaled a cautionary warning to the league that continuing to be so heavy-handed could have consequences.

Mr. Rooney, in an interview with the Post-Gazette Thursday, said the team would back Mr. Harrison in his appeal of a $75,000 fine the league issued to him Tuesday for what it claimed was an illegal high hit on Cleveland wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi.
"We've told James that if he decides to appeal, he has our support," Mr. Rooney said. Mr. Harrison's agent, Bill Parise, said he filed an appeal Wednesday.

"I think the play was a legal hit," Mr. Rooney said. "It's on the borderline, though."

Borderline is not flagrant, and Mr. Rooney said he was more concerned about how the league moves forward on such hits, and cautioned that suspensions, as threatened by the league, should not be doled out willy-nilly.

"The thing I'm concerned about going forward is the level of discipline and how far we're going with that," Mr. Rooney said. "And I hope that the league office is going to draw a distinction between a flagrant hit, an egregious hit -- whatever these words are that are getting thrown around -- versus something that is a violation but is not flagrant."

Mr. Rooney joined coach Mike Tomlin and Mr. Harrison himself in declaring the hit on Mr. Massaquoi a clean one.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10295/1097163-66.stm#ixzz137IUgsdB