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Irsay Suspended 6 Games, Fined $500,000 By NFL

League conduct policy violation follows guilty plea for impaired driving

(image courtesy of NFL/Facebook)

Not only will Jim Irsay not be allowed to be part of Colts games and practices, his famous Twitter account might be dormant as part of his punishment from the NFL.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suspended the Colts owner for six games and fined him $500,000 for violating the league's conduct policy as a result of his guilty plea to a misdemeanor charge of impaired driving. "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," Goddell said in a letter to Irsay.

The suspension takes effect at 5pm Wednesday and continues until the Colts' game with the Houston Texans on October 9.  Until then, Irsay will be barred from the team's facilities as well as games, practices and any other team functions.  He will also be barred from conducting interviews with reporters and using social media regarding team or league matters.  It isn't clear whether Irsay would face punishment if he Tweeted on a subject other than the Colts or the NFL. The Colts will not lose any draft picks as part of Irsay's punishment.

Irsay was arrested by Carmel Police in March after his car was pulled over for driving too slowly.  $29,000 in cash and numerous prescription painkillers were found inside the car.  Irsay pleaded guilty to a single charge of driving while intoxicated on Tuesday and received a year of probation.  His driver's license is also effectively suspended for the next year. 

Irsay issued a statement through the Colts in which he apologized for the arrest.  "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."


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