Late Sunday night Colts owner Jim Irsay was arrested in Carmel, Indiana for driving while intoxicated and possession of a controlled substance. He faces four felony counts of possession and one misdemeanor count of operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
He has struggled with an addiction to painkillers in the past and it is clear that those demons still exist, and the main concern I had yesterday was that Irsay get the care that he needed, writing that it would hopefully be a wake up call to him.
Today, the Indianapolis Colts issued a statement on the status on their owner, saying that he has checked himself into a health care facility to get treatment:
"Yesterday, Jim Irsay took the first step toward regaining good health. He voluntarily checked into a highly-respected health care facility and is committed to undergoing the treatment and care necessary to help him meet his challenges head-on. Jim, the Irsay family, and the Colts organization are all deeply appreciative of the incredible outpouring of support and compassion from our fans and the Indiana community."
Jim Irsay is a good guy and a great influence in the Indianapolis community who is struggling with an addiction again, and I sincerely hope that he gets the help that he needs at this facility.
It is of secondary concern to Irsay's health, but his being at a health care facility means that he will be away from the team, and that brings questions with it. His daughters, Carlie Irsay-Gordon, Casey Foyt, and Kalen Irsay are all vice chairs/owners of the team and their roles have increased in recent years in anticipation of the time where they take over control of the team from their father. They will be able to step in and help run the team and will likely be the ones representing the Colts at the NFL's annual meetings next week, although that's just speculation on my part. In addition to Irsay's daughters, chief operating officer Pete Ward will help run the team in the owner's absence too, and general manager Ryan Grigson will continue to oversee the football side of things. While Jim Irsay absolutely LOVES being around his team and while he is absolutely involved, he is not a meddlesome owner like some others, so this won't affect the football side of things as much. Several have asked how this will impact free agents and whether they come to Indy, and I don't think it will have much of an impact at all. The organization will be fine in Jim Irsay's absence; the important thing right now is that he gets help.
I'm really glad that Irsay has taken the first step toward that in checking himself into a health care facility and I hope that he gets the help and treatment that he needs. Our support is with him, as are our prayers. Get better soon, Jim. And good job for taking that first step.