Colts Owner Jim Irsay Likely Subject To League Discipline After Being Arrested For DUI
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will likely "discipline" Jim Irsay as part of the league's personal conduct policy after the Colts Owner was arrested early this morning for DUI and possession of a controlled substance, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. A "healthy fine" is expected to be given to Irsay. Schefter: "Executives and especially team owners, you would think, are held to a higher standard of conduct.” He noted the "odd part" of the situation is that Goodell "would be handing down discipline against one of his bosses, because the owners in the NFL are the men who employ Roger Goodell and pay his salary" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 3/17). ESPN's Andrew Brandt writes on his Twitter account, "Goodell's major initiative in his tenure has been personal conduct. Irsay's conduct, like that of players, will be addressed. … Early to speculate on discipline, depends on police report, etc. But players (and other owners) will be watching Goodell on this." CBS' Jason La Canfora writes, "Obviously, players, coaches and execs will be watching closely to see how much discipline the NFL doles out to an owner arrested for DWI." NFL Network's Albert Breer: "The closest comparable to the Irsay case, from a league discipline standpoint, would probably be the Broncos execs' DUIs last summer." Bleacher Report's Aaron Nagler: "Whatever the league does when it comes to Irsay's punishment, it should be significantly more than whatever [Broncos Dir of Player Personnel] Matt Russell & [Broncos Dir of Pro Personnel] Tom Heckert got."
EFFECT ON COLTS? ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith said, “Clearly, the man has an issue. He probably needs some help, whether it is alcohol, prescription drugs or whatever the case may be.” Smith: “Let’s not act like this is going to have an effect on the football team. Mr. Irsay does not play." Smith added that fans are "not going to refrain from watching football games because the owner’s got a problem.” ESPN’s Skip Bayless said, “I could see, long-term, this could be a positive effect on the franchise because maybe Jim could get his life in better order.” Bayless: “In attempting to be the next George Steinbrenner, he was more of a distraction than a help to that franchise” (“First Take,” ESPN, 3/17).
COVERING THE COVERAGE: NFL Network did not make mention of the arrest during the 6:00-10:00am ET airing of "NFL AM." The net did make a brief mention of the arrest during the show's re-air at 11:00am (THE DAILY). NFL Media Group VP/Communications Alex Riethmiller said of the limited coverage this morning, "The policy is when it comes to legal matters or specifically arrests is we don't report things off of secondhand news." Riethmiller noted the first report on Irsay's arrest broke only around 8:00am ET and that was a brief paragraph from the AP, but was followed by a more extensive report about an hour later. Riethmiller: "We could then take that story and do our own independent reporting." Riethmiller added, "We need to independently source that through the police." He said there was "no delay" due to this being a high-profile owner nor any attempt to "bury it or anything like that." Riethmiller: "We're strictly trying to make sure that we had everything buttoned-up before we did our own reporting on it" (THE DAILY).