The NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy isn’t just for players, but for owners and other personnel as well. Huffington Post reported on Tuesday, Sept. 2, that Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay has been suspended from six games and charged a fine for breaking the policy.
After pleading guilty to a misdemeanor count of driving under the influence on Tuesday, the NFL announced that Commissioner Roger Goodell passed down the punishment of a six-game suspension and a $500,000 fine to the Colt’s owner. This fine amount is the maximum under league rules.
In a letter to Irsay, Goodall said, "I have stated on numerous occasions that owners, management personnel and coaches must be held to a higher standard than players. We discussed this during our meeting and you expressed your support for that view, volunteering that owners should be held to the highest standard."
The 55-year-old was arrested in March after a traffic stop. During the stop he failed the sobriety test, prescription drugs and $29,000 in cash were found in his car. The Toxicology report found hydrocodone and oxycodone in his system. He was charged with two counts of driving while intoxicated, but through a plea deal he plead to one.
Through his deal Irsay was given: one year probation, his driver’s licence has been revoked for a year, he must submit to a monthly drug test, provide a list of all current prescriptions and spend 60 days in the Hamilton County. Though his other punishments are standing, he will not be behind bars. USA Today reported that Irsay had 58 days suspended and received a two day credit for his day already served on March 17.
Irsay has been in rehab since the incident and his daughter, Carlie Irsay-Gordon, has been running the team. During his probation Irsay-Gordon along with Irsay’s sisters, Casey Foyt and Kalen Irsay, will run the Colts.
In a statement released through Associated Press (via USA Today) Irsay said, "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 that 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."
The Colts start open their season against the Denver Broncos in Denver on Sunday. Irsay will return for the Colts game against Houston Texans on October 9.