Jim Irsay suspended six games, fined $500,000

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It’s not Friday, and it’s not 5 p.m., but the NFL has tied up the one messy piece of business it had to do before games start this week.

The league announced that Colts owner Jim Irsay had been suspended for the team’s first six games and fined $500,000 after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor account of driving while impaired.

The suspension begins tomorrow at 5 p.m., and Irsay “may not be present at the club’s facility, may not attend any practices or games, may not represent the club at league or league committee meetings or at any other team or league event, and may not conduct media interviews or engage in social media regarding any team or league matters.”

The Twitter ban is going to sting, more than the half-million fine, which is the most allowed under the league’s constitution and by-laws.

The league also noted that “Mr. Irsay will be subject to ongoing treatment, counseling, and testing as determined by medical professionals and the Indiana court.”

Drug testing is a condition of his probation, which he was sentenced to as part of the deal.

“I have stated on numerous occasions that owners, management personnel and coaches must be held to a higher standard than players,” Goodell said in his letter to Irsay. “We discussed this during our meeting and you expressed your support for that view, volunteering that owners should be held to the highest standard.”

There will be no draft choice forfeiture for the Colts, since his conduct had nothing to do with the competitive balance of the league.

92 responses to “Jim Irsay suspended six games, fined $500,000

  1. Double standard. Like him or not, Irsay is a first time offender. Just because Irsay is a billionaire who should be living in a trailer park doesn’t mean he should get hit like a multiple offender.

  2. he is just going to roll up to the league office around 3am eyes all red and pull out a brief case with 500K in it and some oxy and say here ya go Rog.

  3. Every suspension since the Rice debacle is now severe. Goodell knows he blew the Rice case, so now he’s going to clobber everyone who gets in trouble from this point on.

  4. The suspension is joke why not just fine him and ban him from twitter. I mean how much does and owner really have to do with the day to day of a football team. The good ones not much as it’s the coaches and gms job to keep the team running smoothly. Normally when owners start worrying about the day to day operation of the football team it goes to hell pretty quickly. Look at the mess the Cowboys have been in or Al Davis. Does he still make money off the team in those 6 weeks? I would say yes he still does so unlike a player what is the suspension really doing?

  5. This is the equivalent of my parents catching me boozing in High School, and grounding me from Monday to Thursday. Soft punishment from the NFL

  6. It’s too bad about not allowing him on twitter, he is a lot of fun and gives out a lot of cool things. I’ve personally won a jersey signed by Dwayne Allen and a cap. He’s a good man with horrible issues. This punishment is fitting though. Don’t be surprised to see him donate another 500000 to some kind of drug abuse awareness program. In the meantime, go colts!!

  7. I know $500K is the max you can take under the CBA monetarily, but that is like fining me $50 for something. It will annoy me to give it up, but its not enough to hurt anything.

    They should have taken draft picks.

  8. Guess he’ll have to spend the first six weeks in his fancy house. Looks like every week is a Superbowl Party at Irsay’s!

  9. Why can’t he just use the Jerry Jones, “I was too drunk to know what I was doing” defense.

  10. Whoa – that’s like 2 weeks worth of pocket change for this guy.


    He’s worth $1.6 BILLION. This isn’t a slap on the wrist. It’s a slap on the fingernail of the pinky finger.

    If you want to penalize this humongous ego of an owner, hit him where it hurts. Take away his Twitter account so he can no longer congratulate himself for giving $10,000 whenever he cleans the lint from his pocket change.

  11. Slap!

    Irsay’s wrist stings a little, going to be red a few weeks but no major consequences.

    So much for a higher standard!

  12. Irsay’s punishment is definitely stiff enough, given he had a prescription for the medication he was on; his crime ended up being that he was driving while using the prescribed medication, which he obviously should not have been doing. First offense, standard punishment by the courts in Indiana. So just wondering does an NFL player who does a similar violation get fined 1/2 million and get suspended for 6 games, or do they do more or less on the suspensions? I am guessing the player fine would be corresponding to their initial salary…

  13. I have mixed feelings about the Twitter ban. On one hand, I won’t get to read Irsay drunk tweets. On the other hand, the internet will instantly become 50% smarter.

  14. They fined the Seahawks 60% of that amount for “practicing too hard” . Irsay is an embarrassment to his family , he’s a real honest drunk and drug addict whose always blitzed always commenting via social media when he’s clearly high off his colt horse and abuses drugs !

    He had a women who he was seeing die of overdose in a house he bought her just a week before this incident of him running around with a bag of cash and a bag of pills !

    Irsay had very little to NO morals and deserved this AND SOME. He got off easy if you ask me. Should have been held to a higher moral standard and been suspended from operations for a year . He’s endangered other peoples lives and has embarrassed his family name with his “rich spoiled boy antics ” !

    Colts deserve better !

  15. Josh Gordon has multiple offense. This is first for Irsay quit hating. He is a awesome owner an quite involved with his team. He just doesn’t sign checks. This is a stiff enough punishment to get the point across

  16. This is far from a “first offense” for Irsay. His substance abuse history and history of illegal activities goes way, way back.

    Google Chernoff and Irsay.

    Google Kimberly Wundrum and Irsay.

    Google Anthony Shoettle and Irsay’s Odyssey.

    Irsay admitted to prescription drug abuse as early as 2002.

    In short, he has a much, much larger history with more serious substances and more serious consequences than someone like Josh Gordon. If Gordon gets a year, Irsay should have gotten two.

  17. Way too harsh. Name me one other time when a player pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and was fined anywhere close to this and suspended for 6 games.

    A single count misdemeanor. And half of you wanted a year suspension and draft picks taken away. Guess what happens when you plead guilty to this in regular society? You get probation, and your employer does nothing.

  18. For you people saying they should have lost draft picks:
    Irsay bad conduct was a “personal” conduct question not like cheating.
    You can’t fine him something like a draft pick because it affects the football “team” meaning players, coach’s, managers etc. that had NOTHING to do with Irsay personal behavior.
    6 games and 500K is fair.

  19. Too light. If they couldn’t legally fine him more (which I’m not sure I believe) they should have suspended him longer. Speaking of the CBA, we’re not dealing with a player. Irsay is management, not labor. Does the CBA somehow have a clause applying to limits on ownership fines?

  20. Double, double standard from NFL.. He should sell the team, made to do so. An NBA owner was made to sell because of perceived racism in his words used. Bad on him. But Irsay has been operating a vehicle drunk and drugged up for years, decades and could have killed someone’s family. He is like his late father, a drunk. He’s rich, he’s and NFL owner and he is Indys sugar daddy and allow this guy to drive all these years–if he kills someone it’s premeditated murder. But not in the eyes state officials , NFL commissioner and the Indy fans. He’s been lucky all these years and why do you think he was carrying over 20k in CASH–to buy drugs.

  21. How, oh how will the Colts recover from this devastating loss of leadership!

    (OK, snarky comment over – punishment seems fair enough. Josh Gordon got screwed.)

  22. Should be picks and not a fine! 500k fine for a guy that gave 4 times that for jerry second favorite guitar is nothing at all. If you want to hurt a guy that has everything hurt his toy! The colts are his toy!

  23. LOL, all you halfwits on here, he should of got this or that, made to sell the team,lol, guess what, he got what the law states for a first offense in the state of Indiana and he got the max that was allowed by the NFL….cry on losers.

  24. Who is going enforce the Owner from not entering his own building, and then, what him, how much?
    Take the draft pick, reduce his practice squad, hit him for 10 million. Suspended from his own building? what you will take his keys away? Will he wear an ankle bracket? C’mon man!

  25. So in the NBA, saying something to your wife that is highly offensive to the public nets an owner a lifetime ban from the league. But, in the nfl, when an owner with a history of substance abuse does something illegal that puts the public in immediate danger, he gets a slap on the wrist and a fine he won’t even notice

  26. How does punishing someone with an inherited disease help? This is draconian and someday future generations will look back at this as what it really is-harsh punishment for having a sickness that we don’t yet know how to control. Send the man to rehab and get him some help.

  27. This is a joke, it’s a misdemeanor charge. Should have got just a small fine (like $25,000) and no suspension. It’s not like he hit a woman or killed anyone.

    Such a joke, NFL is.

  28. Being the egomaniacs that owners are, and the look at me spectacle they make of themselves in their luxury boxes during games, telling him he cannot attend 6 of his teams games is pretty huge to someone of his financial stature. Remember, its an ego thing to these owners, who owns a team, has the biggest yacht, comes to the game in a helicopter etc. No amount of fine money would matter, but tell someone that is never told no to……you cant attend a game your team owns is big. So all you he got off light ranters, look at the bigger picture and give Goodell a break.

  29. Oh for god sake, stop the stupid endanger the public crap..People endanger the “public” everyday. No turn signal, changing 3 or 4 lanes at once on the highway, not stopping when theres someone in the crosswalk, running red lights, stop signs, putting on make up when they drive and the list goes on. For most people this whole thing as been about “he’s rich” or people just don’t like the Colts. Players get suspended because they violate a CONTRACT they agreed to. While Mr. Irsay should be punished, people need to stop making it into more then it is.

  30. So the NFL took action hours after the legal proceedings were concluded.

    So you can all see how your impatience and worry were completely unwarranted. He got no special treatment from the NFL, and they took this situation seriously (even if you don’t exactly agree with his punishment).

    Seriously, people, just wait for these things to play out next time. Call off the dogs.

  31. I’m good with that. I suppose the haters wanted to see a public lynching. I think the kicker here is the drug testing. That will be his demon.

  32. Pretty light punishment. So much for owners and employees being subject to the same punishments as players. A 500K fine is pocket change to Irsay and players get fined more than that when suspended. Heck, Alex Boone was subject to larger fines for holding out (the 49ers waived the fines).

    Sure, the CBA authorizes the punishments for players, but the league should authorize analogous punishments for owners. But don’t hold your breath.

  33. Honestly, no punishment would have been enough for some of u harpies. 6 games for doing something that had no impact on the operation or profitability of the league… awesome.

  34. I always laugh at the so call punishment for owners. you have some pro teams where the OWNERS might show up to the facility/game maybe ONE time for the season( so the 6 game ban is much ado about nothing) , And the 500k fine is like pocket money they give their wives to go shopping.

    Can they come up with a more sensible punishment for owners that really would get their attention.How about losing large percentage of STOCK with your team..Something like that.Because the current punishment for OWNERS compare to what the players get is a joke.

  35. First offense? This guy has been abusing narcotics for YEARS!!! And all you Colt enablers just don’t care. “He hasn’t hurt anyone!” That is until he kills someone driving. Jimmy Irsay is his father’s son. He will always be a miscreant just like dear dead old dad.

  36. What exactly does it mean when they suspend an owner? He can’t sit in the owner’s box? Is he not allowed to watch his team on TV? 500k fine? Oh no, I guess he won’t be able to go out to dinner this weekend. Goodell, you’re a joke.

  37. “Jim Irsay suspended six games, fined $500,000”

    For the little people that’s the equivalent of $15 and watching 6 games at Hooters

  38. The day that I run my life based on the morals of the NFL will be my last day on earth.

    I could care less what they fine an owner. It is a self-imposed fine/penalty based on their arbitrary professional conduct policy.

    For those people that say he should have got this or that you need to grow up. Why do you care? How does it impact you what the NFL punishment is? The real concern is should he have gotten jail time? As a society that is what matters. Not what Goodell has to say. He is part of the NFL’s kangaroo court.

  39. To those complaining about josh Gordon getting a year for pot and irsay only getting six games.
    You do remember that Gordon got himself popped for DWI as well right?

  40. If a player is suspended for 6 games he would lose 6 game day paychecks or 37.5 % of the money he would have made that season. Since Irsay would receive aprox . 187, millions from the NFL television package. (taken from last years payment to each team according Green Bay financial statements) He should lose $70.125 millions plus the fine.

  41. I would love to know the details of the drug testing becuase there are plenty of drugs that don’t show up on standard 5 panel drugs tests (methadone, all benzos). This is a joke man

  42. Morons (and others), the state penalty/fine and the NFL penalty/fine are for DUI, not years of addiction. Irsay’s history of addiction is actually an argument against penalizing him since it is officially a disease–if they can’t penalize you for high blood pressure or diabetes, they can’t for being an addict. They CAN for acting on that addiction and in this case the only evidence/proof they have is the arrest and his subsequent guilty plea for the misdemeanor DUI. (The drugs were legally prescribed… I haven’t heard if his doctors are under investigation or if that was all legit.)

    Also, while many contend he’s been doing this forever, it is technically his first offense. Whether it’s likely he has done worse or not, Goodell and Indiana cannot base their assessment on that, or on some of your personal biases. So comparing him to players who are on their 2nd/3rd/4th chance is inappropriate. Trying to make it an income-proportional fine is also stupid. The league by-laws say $500k is the max, and Goodell gave him the max. If you have a problem, it’s with the league by-laws… and logic.

    This is a personal behavior issue per the league, not a competitive issue–if he was providing drugs (or any outside their contracts benefits) to his players, it would be a competitive balance issue that may deserve a draft pick penalty (ala the bounty issue for NO or video issue for NE–those could have affected the teams’ competitiveness and therefore got bigger team sanctions). In this case, a sick man made one horrible mistake that we know of, admitted it (yeah, it was pretty obvious, but it’s nice that he didn’t insult our intelligence and waste taxpayer money by challenging it in court), and was punished for it. Those of you say he’s been driving drunk for years, etc… that may be true, but where’s your proof? We don’t usually do things like meting out punishment without proof in this country. His transgression could have been a lot worse (killing someone while DUI) and as a result, his punishment would have been as well.

    The only area where it seems a little skewed is the drug testing; I agree more frequently seems more logical if this is supposed to be in any way parallel to (and stricter than) players’ testing. Not sure if player testing under PED discipline varies from the substance abuse discipline, but Irsay’s should be league-administered and follow the substance abuse protocol IMO.

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