What Should Jim Irsay’s Punishment Be?


Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Nothing sparks controversy like controversy.

The eyes of the NFL, its media, and its fans are focused almost solely on the criminal drama that has developed around Indianapolis Colts’ owner, Jim Irsay. Now that Irsay has been released from jail on his own recognizance, the focus shifts towards NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell. What will Goodell do with Irsay’s felonious controlled substance situation? How should Irsay be punished by a man he employs?

Irsay’s case is unprecedented in recent NFL history. The closest issues concerning an NFL owner was when Tennessee Titans’ owner Bud Adams was fined by the league, for flipping two middle fingers at rival fans during a game. Several seasons ago, two assistant coaches of the Denver Broncos were reprimanded for alcohol convictions. During the Spygate situation, head coach Bill Belichick was fined $500,000, and the New England Patriots lost a draft pick. Irsay is facing four felony charges in court, and if convicted, could be made an example of by the NFL.

Goodell works for the NFL owners. The commissioner has brought the hammer down on numerous players and assistant coaches, for various legal issues. Some players have been dealt with even before their day in court, and this may be a similar situation. Goodell must try not to be rash though, until the rest of this story unfolds. Irsay obviously has personal demons, but the league must tread lightly in this situation. The right decision must be made, and the right punishment must be handed down, but only at the right time.