NFL: Irsay suspended 6 games, fined $500K

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — Hours after Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of operating while intoxicated, the NFL suspended him for six games and fined him $500,000 for violating the NFL personal conduct policy, the NFL said on Tuesday.

According to the release by NFL Communications, Irsay will be suspended from the team’s first six regular-season games and can return to the Colts’ game against the Houston Texans on Oct. 9.

Terms of Irsay’s suspension include the following, as listed by the NFL:

  • 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.

In a letter to Irsay, Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote:

“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 following statement from Jim Irsay was sent out shortly after the announcement of his suspension:

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. 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.

Irsay pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of operating while intoxicated on Tuesday. He was arrested in March on charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated and possession of a controlled substance.

Irsay will avoid jail time, but he will have to pay $368.50 in court costs. He also agreed to continue treatment as part of probation.

The court also mandated Irsay must turn over copies of prescriptions if asked.

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