With Jim Irsay having voluntarily checked himself into a treatment facility after his arrest for possession of a controlled substance and operating while intoxicated, the Indianapolis Colts have named an interim team owner. The Indianapolis Star reports that Irsay's daughter, Carlie Irsay-Gordon, will fill in during her father's absence.
Irsay-Gordon has experience for the position. She, along with Irsay's other two daughters, is listed as the team's vice-chair/owner and has represented the Colts at NFL Owners Meetings for the last 10 years, according to Stampede Blue.
While owners exert a significant amount of influence on an NFL team, the structure of an organization is designed to operate smoothly in the case of an absence at the top, though financial input is typically required during free agency.
"In many ways, a franchise does run itself," ESPN sports business analyst and former Green Bay Packers vice president Andrew Brandt told The Star Press. "The only time an owner's involvement is absolutely required is when you're getting into a huge cash outlay, such as during the past week with free agency."
Stampede Blue describes the temporary transition to Irsay-Gordon as a "glimpse into the future."
Just like when Jim Irsay inherited the ownership reigns from his father, Robert Irsay, it is now Carlie's turn to run the family business. It is assumed that this transition is only temporary, and that, prior to the start of the 2014 NFL regular season, Jim Irsay will return to his job of owning the team. However, as with all things in the NFL - and life in general - the wise policy is to never assume.