For Colts owner Jim Irsay, an arrest last month on charges of operating a vehicle while intoxicated and felony possession of a controlled substance (four counts) may have been the tipping point in a series of problems that, at a minimum, justifies careful examination by the league office.
According to Tim Evans and Mark Alesia of the Indianapolis Star, the arrest came less than three weeks after a woman was found dead of an apparent drug overdose in a townhouse Irsay previously had given to her.
Police and the coroner are reportedly waiting for toxicology results before determining the cause of Kimberly Wundrum’s death. Per the Star, a police report determines that a plate with “white powder, straw, razor” were found in the townhouse, along with photographs of Irsay.
The Star report also raises the question of whether Irsay purchased the townhouse given to Wundrum with money flowing from Irsay’s ownership of the Colts. Because he’s the sole owner of the team, the decision to divert funds for personal use won’t be a problem — unless, of course, charges incurred for personal endeavors were reflected as business expenses.
Irsay reportedly had $29,000 in his possession when arrested, with the cash in a briefcase, his wallet, and laundry bags. That dynamic has not yet been explained by Irsay or the Colts, and it hasn’t received the scrutiny from the media that perhaps it should.
Still, there seems to be little disagreement on the proposition that Irsay must face the same consequences that a player would face under similar circumstances. When it comes to disciplining an owner, however, the financial penalty that best mirrors the standard punishment of two game checks for a first-offense DUI by a player could be a major fine that would take away two weeks of the money Irsay earns during the season based on his 100-percent ownership of the franchise.