Jim Irsay is the longtime owner and CEO of the Indianapolis Colts football team which was also owned by his father. In spite of his high position and involvement with the team, Irsay has come under fire for ongoing drug issues that eventually led to his arrest. Only a few weeks ago, Irsay entered into rehab for issues with prescription drug addiction after being arrested while intoxicated. Unfortunately after leaving rehab, Irsay will be questioned by an NFL commissioner and it could affect his position as owner of the sports team.
Arrest for Drug Possession
The Colts owner was pulled over by police on the night of March 16th after they noticed him driving erratically. The police stated that Irsay was driving only 10 mph in a 35 mph zone and came to a complete stop in the middle of the road twice. After being pulled over they discovered that he seemed disoriented and his speech was slow and slurred.
He was unable to pass many of their sobriety tests and was then taken to jail while his car was searched. He had nearly $30,000 in cash in the vehicle along with numerous prescription medication bottles of different colors and kinds. After the incident Irsay was charged with four counts of felony drug possession and one misdemeanor count of driving while intoxicated.
After His Arrest
Following his arrest, Irsay was unable to attend a hearing which was the cancelled because he immediately entered rehab for his prescription drug use. While he has never had any incidents of driving while intoxicated in the past, it is clear from Irsay’s decision to enter a rehab facility that he is still suffering from an addiction.
He is not likely to have to face any more jail time but he will most likely be under scrutiny from the NFL which will want to prove that he is not getting any preferential treatment. All of the NFL’s rules apply to team owners as well as players and everyone involved in the league. Irsay will have to answer to the NFL and discuss is relationship to drugs and addiction when he completes his stay in rehab.
History of Drug Abuse
Irsay’s issues with drug abuse have been an ongoing problem for him as his name came up in an investigation of a doctor prescribing over-prescribing powerful pain killers. Following this discovery by police, Irsay entered rehab in 2002 for prescription drug addiction. In 2010 he detailed his history of drug use during an interview with USA today.
He has a long past of drug abuse including using mushrooms and cocaine when he was younger but managed to hide it well from those around him. In spite of completing rehab years ago many insiders were aware that Irsay was again struggling with drug abuse. It was not until he was stopped by police that his problems with prescription drug abuse and his relapse became public knowledge to the NFL.
Consequences Of Addiction
Even someone with a high profile job such as Irsay will have to suffer some consequences for his actions. The NFL has not decided what kind of punishment or discipline that Irsay will be forced to receive as there has been no precedent of an owner being arrested for substance abuse in the past.
The owner of the Colts could face possible suspension for a period of time when he returns from rehab as many players have been suspended for substance abuse recently. Whatever punishment Irsay faces it is clear that the lesson to be learned from his behavior is that addiction can lead to serious consequences no matter what job or status you have.