Jim Irsay gets random drug tests, had $29K because he's 'generous'

Jim Irsay agreed to share his random drug testing with the NFL. (USATSI)
Jim Irsay agreed to share his random drug testing with the NFL. (USATSI)

The NFL world is waiting to see what Roger Goodell and the NFL does with Jim Irsay. The Colts owner declined to share his opinion of what the commissioner should do with his case during an interview with the Indianapolis Star Monday, but he talked about plenty of other things, including random drug testing, addiction and why he was carrying around $29,000.

Irsay told Bob Kravitz of the Star he agreed to undergo random drug testing with the local authorities and would share the results of those tests with Goodell.

A recovering alcoholic, Irsay told Kravitz he's "remained alcohol-free for more than a decade and continues to attend AA meetings around town and around the country." 

"It's all been a blessing, just being able to focus on my health and redouble the efforts on recovery," Irsay said. "It's been a long path. I still have chronic pain. But it was the good thing ... In some ways, [going through rehab] is my greatest moment. It takes courage to try and overcome the difficulties you have. For some reason, it's seen as unheroic.

"When someone beats cancer, it's like, `Wow, that's so heroic,' but when someone has this illness, it's treated like you're a leper because that person is morally corrupt, and that's not the case."

Irsay did not answer Kravitz' questions about why/how he failed multiple sobriety tests when he was arrested, nor did he answer inquiries about the night in question.

At the time Irsay was arrested, police said he was carrying nearly $30,000 in cash with him. Even with his personal wealth, it was a red flag when combined with the drugs. Irsay says he had the cash because he's "extremely generous."

"I don't know why that was leaked to the press or what it had to do with anything," he said. "You're talking about someone who is extremely generous, and I say that humbly. That's the way I try to live my life and it has nothing to do with the law. What's been reported out there, there's been a sensationalizing about things that have nothing to do with the law. It shouldn't be an issue."

One issue Colts fans could have is whether or not Irsay's capable of running their (well, his) NFL franchise. Irsay pointed out, quite candidly, that he never stopped doing so. 

"I'd say my focus is on the season, my focus is on making the Colts the best team in the NFL," he said. "I'm completely engaged and have always been engaged, even when I was in rehab. Your paper acted like my kids were running the team and I was in some kind of coma and that's just not the truth."

Irsay stated that "I hold myself to the highest of standards" but also declined to apologize, in a take-the-fifth kind of way.

"I don't think that's something I'll address right now," Irsay said. "There are certain things I want to say that I can't say. We need to let the process go forward and I'll address that later. I'm a human being; if there's something I have to apologize for, I would, but at this point, it wouldn't be appropriate.

"It sets me up, like if you don't say you're sorry, then why aren't you saying your sorry, and if you say you're sorry, then you must have done something wrong."

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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