The NFL suspended Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay six games and fined him $500,000 following his guilty plea for driving under the influence on March 27.
The NFL suspended Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay for six games and fined him $500,000 following his guilty plea to driving under the influence.
According to The Indianapolis Star's Mark Alesia and Phil Richards, the suspension begins on Sept. 3 and ends on Oct. 9:
"The NFL suspended Colts owner Jim Irsay for six games and fined him $500,000 today following his guilty plea to impaired driving.
"The suspension begins at 5 p.m. Wednesday and ends following the Oct. 9 game against the Houston Texans.
"Irsay cannot visit the club's facilities, attend practices or games, represent the team at league meetings and events, and may not conduct interviews or engage in social media regarding team or league matters, the NFL said in a press release.
"The $500,000 is the maximum under NFL rules.
"He will be subject to treatment, counseling and testing as determined by medical professionals and the court.
"Commissioner Roger Goodell noted that no draft choices were forfeited because the conduct did not have competitive advantage.
"'I have stated on numerous occasions that owners, management personnel and coaches must be held to a higher standard than players,' Goodell said in the news release. 'We discussed this during our meeting and you expressed your support for that view, volunteering that owners should be held to the highest standard.'
"Irsay isssued an apology on Tuesday afternoon. The arrest 'opened my eyes to issues in my life that needed addressing,' he said. Irsay also said he hope this episode would diminish the stigma of drug addiction.
'Please know I am firmly committed to staying on my path to good health and I look forward to a great season,' Irsay said.
"Jim Irsay's statement: 'I acknowledge the mistake I made last March and stand responsible for the consequences of that mistake, for which I sincerely apologize to our community and to Colts fans everywhere. Even more importantly, though, I am committed to do everything in my power to turn this whole experience into a positive event for myself, my family and the community.
"'In retrospect, I now know the incident opened my eyes to issues in my life that needed addressing and helped put me on the path to regain my health. I truly hope and pray that my episode will help in some small measure to diminish the stigma surrounding our country's terrible and deadly problem of addiction. It is a disease like other progressive, terminal diseases -- one that can only be successfully treated by understanding, committed hard work and spiritual growth.
"'I am deeply grateful for the tremendous outpouring of love and support during these past few months from my family, friends, care-givers, and our great community. Please know I am firmly committed to staying on my path to good health and I look forward to a great season.'
"Day-to-day control of the team, valued by Forbes at about $1.2 billion, went to Irsay's oldest daughter, Carlie Irsay-Gordon, 33, while Irsay sought treatment in several rehab centers after his arrest.
"Irsay-Gordon and her sisters, Casey Foyt and Kalen Irsay, each are listed as vice chair/owner in the team's media guide. Another executive asset is Colts Chief Operating Officer Pete Ward, Irsay's trusted lieutenant of 32 years.
"'Nothing's going to change,' Colts general manager Ryan Grigson said on the Dan Dakich Show on 1070 AM just prior to the announcement of the suspension. 'We've been down this road before when he was away. Nothing's going to change. We've had plenty of adversity around here. This is another one we have to overcome.'"
ESPN's Mike Wells chimed in on Irsay's suspension in his Sept. 2 blog:
"The suspension will sting Irsay more that it stings his employees.
"Anybody who has been around Jim Irsay knows his life is football. It goes all the way back to when he was a kid and his father, Robert Irsay, owned the Colts.
"Jim Irsay isn't one of those owners who simply shows up on game day and hangs out in a suite eating fancy food and sipping exotic beverages. The one-time general manager is a very hands-on owner. He's a regular at the team's facility during the week, he constantly talks to Grigson and (Colts head coach Chuck) Pagano, and he's always inside the locker room after games. Irsay was given the game ball after the Colts beat the Denver Broncos in Week 7 last season.
"None of that will happen -- not for six weeks, at least.
"Starting at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Irsay is not permitted in the team's facility. No practice. No games. He cannot represent the team at any league meetings. No interviews. And no interaction on social media.
"No Twitter for Irsay?
"You would think Goodell is being petty like a father disciplining his son, but Irsay gives Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban a run for his money when it comes to owners interacting on Twitter."
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