Don't be surprised when NFL punishes Irsay
March, 24, 2014
By Mike Wells | ESPN.com
ORLANDO, Fla. -- To no surprise, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was asked Monday about what actions he may take with Jim Irsay after the Indianapolis Colts owner was arrested on suspicion of intoxicated driving last week.
And to no surprise, Goodell is waiting until the facts come out before deciding what type of discipline he plans to hand down to Irsay.
Don’t expect Goodell’s punishment to be light on Irsay. It really shouldn’t be that way for Irsay, who has a history battling pain killer addiction. Irsay faces four felony counts of possession of a controlled substance after being arrested on suspicion of intoxicated driving in the northern Indianapolis suburb of Carmel late March 16.
The Colts owner did the right thing by taking the first step in admitting he has a problem when he entered a rehabilitation facility on March 18. But that likely won’t change the type of punishment Goodell gives him.
Goodell can’t afford to go lightly on Irsay. Not with the players around the league keeping a close eye on what happens. You also have to take into consideration that the NFL fined late Tennessee Titans owner Bud Adams $250,000 for making obscene gesture at Buffalo fans in 2009. Goodell fined Detroit Lions president Tom Lewand $100,000 and suspended him 30 days after he plead guilty to driving while impaired in 2010.
It's anybody's guess what Goodell will do with Irsay. Just don't be shocked if the NFL is harsher on him than it was on Lewand and Adams.
"We obviously will want to understand the facts before we take any steps as it relates to any potential discipline," Goodell said. "Obviously any policies or any laws that are broken, whether you're commissioner or owner or player or coach, those are subject to discipline."