Former Colts coach Tony Dungy felt terrible when he learned that his old boss, Jim Irsay, was arrested for driving while intoxicated and drug possession.
“I was heartbroken,” Dungy said on 105.3 The Fan in Dallas. “I’ve known Jim Irsay for 13 years now. He’s a special guy to me — a person who is very self-sacrificing and would do anything for you. He did some unbelievable things for me, for my family, for the city of Indianapolis, and I just want him to do well. He’s struggling with some prescription painkillers and other medications — he made a big mistake. I was sad to see that but I’m hoping that this will be the silver lining in the cloud — he will reach out and get some help and grow from this.”
But while Dungy has sympathy for Irsay, he said there’s no doubt in his mind that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will hand down discipline, considering that Goodell has disciplined players, coaches and team executives who were arrested.
“I think they have to,” he said. “If the commissioner doesn’t step in with something I don’t think it will be good, so, yeah, something has to be done and hopefully everyone benefits from it.”
Dungy is right. We can simultaneously say that we hope Irsay gets the help he needs, and say that it’s totally unacceptable to get behind the wheel while intoxicated. Irsay deserves support while he gets that help, and he deserves the discipline he will surely get from Goodell.