SBD/June 10, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

NFL Personnel Believe Irsay Is Facing Suspension Of 6-8 Games, $1M Fine

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has yet to suspend Colts Owner Jim Irsay following his March arrest for DUI, and while the exact discipline is unknown, it is thought Irsay is facing a “six to eight-game suspension” in addition to a $1M fine, according to sources cited by ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Sources added that there also is the possibilitiy that owners may “have to submit to drug testing.” Schefter said, “This is a huge issue facing Roger Goodell and the NFL. Everybody around the league, especially the players, is waiting to see exactly how Commissioner Goodell rules on this particular case.” A decision is expected prior to the start of the season. Schefter said, “There’s another legal matter later this month, and I think they want to wait for as much of that information to come in before Commissioner Goodell makes his ruling" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 6/6). PRO FOOTBALL TALK’s Michael David Smith wrote it is still unknown “what a suspension of an owner would constitute.” Smith: “Would Irsay just be prevented from attending games? Would he be banned from the team facility throughout the suspension? If he’s suspended during a meeting of NFL owners, would the Colts lose their vote? Would the Colts lose their share of the league’s TV revenues from those six to eight weeks, just as players who are suspended lose their salaries for those weeks?” (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 6/7).

HIT WHERE IT HURTS: ESPN.com's Jeffri Chadiha wrote if Goodell "wants to send a message" to Irsay, he "shouldn't be thinking solely about a steep fine or a suspension." Goodell also should be "eyeing taking away draft picks, which are the only currency that has real value when it comes to disciplining wealthy men in team sports." The minute Goodell "snatched a second-round pick or even a couple of mid-round selections from somebody as powerful as Irsay, the entire league would take notice." His credibility also "wouldn't be nearly as questionable as it's become in the wake of this entire episode" (ESPN.com, 6/9).
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