Jim Irsay Reaches Plea Deal in OWI Case: Latest Details and Reaction

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 29, 2014

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Updates from Tuesday, Sept. 2

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported on Jim Irsay's suspension:

The NFL later confirmed his suspension in a release:

Terms of the suspension imposed by Commissioner Roger Goodell include the following:

  • 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.

Commissioner Goodell noted that no draft choice forfeiture or other competitive sanction will be assessed because the conduct did not have competitive consequences.

In a letter to Mr. Irsay, Commissioner Goodell 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.”

Earlier, Jeremy Brilliant of WTHR passed along details of Jim Irsay's plea agreement in his OWI case:

As for potential discipline, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported on a timeline for an announcement:

Mike Wells of ESPN reported on Irsay's exit from the courthouse:



Original Text

Over five months after Jim Irsay was arrested for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, the Indianapolis Colts owner has reached a plea deal in his case.

Mark Alesia of The Indianapolis Star first reported the news:

SportsCenter provided a few more details:

Irsay was originally arrested in March and charged with an OWI as well as four counts of possession of a controlled substance, according to Josh Katzowitz of CBS Sports.

After going to rehab, Irsay explained his feelings to Bob Kravitz of The Indianapolis Star:

It's all been a blessing, just being able to focus on my health and redouble the efforts on recovery. It's been a long path. I still have chronic pain. But it was the good thing… In some ways, (going through rehab) is my greatest moment. It takes courage to try and overcome the difficulties you have.

While it is good to see someone with problems getting back on the right path, it remains to be seen how much—if at all—he will be punished by the NFL. The National Football Post predicted earlier in the summer that the owner would be suspended six to eight games:

Bleacher Report's Jason Cole expects something in the range of three to four games:

Either way, commissioner Roger Goodell has to find a way to send a message that these types of actions are unacceptable. It is certainly a different situation than what it would be for a player, but the penalty still must be harsh.

This remains something to monitor over the coming weeks until Goodell makes an official decision.


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