The text of National Football League Commissioner Pete Rozelle's statement yesterday on his suspension of Baltimore Colts' quarterback Art Schlichter:
"After a thorough review of an investigation conducted by our security department and a private four-hour hearing with Art Schlichter and his attorneys and advisers, I have today notified Schlichter that he is suspended indefinitely from the National Football League for violations of long-standing NFL rules regarding gambling on league games and association with illegal gambling activities.
"At the same time, I have advised Schlichter that prior to the 1984 season his status will be reviewed and an application for reinstatement will be considered based upon all evidence available at that time.
"Art Schlichter has acknowledged that he placed sizable bets on at least 10 NFL games during the 1982 season and postseason. He has also acknowledged that in so doing he sought out and maintained frequent and regular contact with persons he understood to be illegal bookmakers and that on many occasions he illegally gambled large sums of money on other professional team sports contests. I accept his statement that he has never bet on or against his own team, attempted to improperly affect the outcome of any game or accepted money or anything of value from those who might have been interested in doing so.
"Several psychiatrists have now diagnosed Schlichter as a compulsive gambler. While I have compassion for him and his illness, an NFL player with his record of gambling, whether prompted by uncontrollable impulses or not, cannot be permitted to be active in the NFL until the league can be solidly assured that the serious violations of cardinal NFL rules he has committed will not be repeated. Public confidence in the game of professional football requires this.
"Since meeting with me, Schlichter has been admitted to a hospital for treatment by a team of physicians and therapists qualified in the care of compulsive gamblers. On the conclusion of this in-patient treatment, he will continue under intensive professional care. I commend him and his advisers for initiating these measures prior to my decision and sincerely hope that he can overcome his illness and eventually rehabilitate successfully."