Nearly six months after cops say Jim Irsay was driving drunk while carrying a brief case full of cash and a bag full of painkillers, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suspended the Colts owner for the first six games of the upcoming season and fined him $500,000 for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Cops Say Irsay Was Driving Drunk & Carrying Painkillers & $29,000 in Cash
Colts owner Jim Irsay arrested for OWI and possession of controlled substance- mug shot MOND090 pic.twitter.com/CPoU296HIs
— CBS Newspath Chicago (@CBSNewsChicago) March 17, 2014
Irsay was arrested March 16 following a traffic stop in Carmel, Indiana. According to the police report obtained by the Indianapolis Star, cops said Irsay was pulled over after cops saw him driving erratically.
He was later found to be carrying more than $29,000 in cash, most of it in a brief case, and a pag for of painkillers.
The Star highlighted several excerpts from the arrest report, including one in which Carmel police said Irsay came to a stop for no apparent reason and later said he was trying to find his house but often gets confused as to which road it’s on:
I observed the vehicle come to a complete stop on W. Main Street for no apparent reason. … As I was approaching the vehicle it began to slowly move east bound and came to another complete stop in the lane of travel for no apparent reason. … I asked him if he knew why I had pulled him over. Irsay advised that he was trying to find his house and gets confused with what road it is located on.
2. Irsay Pleaded Guilty Tuesday to Operating Under the Influence
Colts owner Jim Irsay pleads guilty. One year probation. Roger Goodell YOU ARE ON THE CLOCK.
— John Dennis (@JohnDennisWEEI) September 2, 2014
News of the suspension came just hours after Irsay pleaded guilty Tuesday to a misdemeanor charge of operating under the influence.
Under the terms of a plea deal, Irsay, 55, will be on probation for one year and will have to undergo drug tests.
3. The League Announced the Suspension Tuesday
The announcement came two days before the Seahawks are scheduled to host the Packers in the NFL season opener and five days before the Colts are scheduled to open the season Sunday night at Denver, where they’ll face a Broncos team led by former Colt Peyton Manning.
The suspension begins Wednesday at 5 p.m. Eastern time. Irsay will be banned from team facilities during that time, and will be eligible to return after the Colts’ game against the Houston Texans on October 9.
According to a news release from the NFL, the terms of the suspension are as follows:
During the suspension, which takes effect at 5 p.m. ET tomorrow, Mr. Irsay may not be present at the club’s facility, may not attend any practices or games, may not represent the club at league or league committee meetings or at any other team or league event, and may not conduct media interviews or engage in social media regarding any team or league matters.
In addition, Mr. Irsay is fined $500,000, the maximum permitted under league rules.
Irsay will be subject to ongoing treatment, counseling, and testing as determined by medical professionals and the Indiana court.
4. The NFL Players Association Was Closely Monitoring the Situation
The NFL Players Association was monitoring the situation closely and urging Goodell to hold Irsay to equal or higher standards than those to which players are held.
Irsay’s suspension comes two days after the league suspended 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith for 9 games for a slew of recent arrests on gun and drug charges.
According to the NFL’s news release, Goodell reminded Irsay in a letter that Irsay had agreed with the league’s other owners that owners, management personnel and coaches should be held to higher standards than players:
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.
5. Irsay Is the 1st Owner to Be Suspended in 15 Years
Irsay is the first owner to be suspended since 1999, when commissioner Paul Tagliabue suspended 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. for one year and fined him $1 million for his involvement in a Louisiana extortion case.