NFL SUSPENDS IRVIN FOR FIRST FIVE GAMES.Byline: Dave Goldberg Associated Press Associated Press: see news agency.
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Cooperative news agency, the oldest and largest in the U.S. and long the largest in the world.
For the Dallas Cowboys
National Football League
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It might almost be a relief to the Cowboys, who have been waiting for the other shoe to drop all week after Irvin's no-contest plea to cocaine possession.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones For other persons named Jerry Jones, see Jerry Jones (disambiguation).
Jerrel Wayne "Jerry" Jones (Born on October 13, 1942) is the owner of the Dallas Cowboys NFL franchise and the Dallas Desperados AFL franchise.
Jones was born in Los Angeles, California. said he spoke with Irvin, who was in Miami.
``He said, `I want to meet this heads up. I accept my responsibility. I was wrong and I'm going to pay the price.'
``He is clearly resolved to get this behind him. . . . He talked about his future and what he needs to do to get ready for his first game.
``He said he is ready to take his medicine.''
``We were surprised to a certain degree because we had heard it might be eight games so I guess five just fell right into the slot,'' Cowboys personnel director Larry Lacewell said.
``Any time you lose a great football player, you're going to struggle, but this team has a knack of overcoming adversity.''
The team's top wide receiver, who had a career-high 111 receptions last year, might have received an extra game because of his prominence.
The suspension comes eight days after Irvin pleaded no contest to felony cocaine-possession charges for which he was fined $10,000, placed on probation for four years and sentenced to 800 hours of community service. It leaves the three-time Super Bowl champions <onlyinclude>This is a list of Super Bowl champions, that is, all the franchises that have won the championship game of the National Football League. Super Bowls are held in an American city that is chosen years in advance. without him for almost a third of the season.
``You serve as a highly visible symbol of the Dallas Cowboys and the NFL,'' commissioner Paul Tagliabue Paul John Tagliabue (born November 24 1940 in Jersey City, New Jersey) was the Commissioner of the National Football League. He took the position in 1989 and was succeeded by Roger Goodell, who was elected to the position on August 8, 2006. wrote to Irvin in a letter informing the Cowboys star of the suspension.
``As such, you are an unusually prominent example for good and for bad for young people. While that visibility affords you substantial benefits, financial and otherwise, it significantly increases and magnifies the negative and detrimental impact of your misconduct on the league, its teams, its players and its fans.''
The five-game suspension will cost Irvin more than $500,000 - he makes $102,647 a game. He will miss games with the Chicago Bears
Earlier Wednesday, Jones had suggested that Irvin's prominence might add to the severity of the suspension. The usual suspension for such offenses is four games, the penalty meted out to Bam Morris, who was released by the Pittsburgh Steelers earlier this month after pleading guilty to felony possession of marijuana.
``He's a visible player on a visible franchise,'' Jones had said of Irvin. ``But he does have to be alert to the consequences of his action.''
Tagliabue said much the same, both in his public announcement and his letter to Irvin.
``The discipline for violations of the substance abuse policy is severe,'' he said ``. . . Under this collectively bargained program, players are disciplined for their own substance abuse or drug-related misconduct. They are not disciplined for the misdeeds of others or because critics may view the justice system as lenient in drug cases or for other extraneous reasons.''
Irvin was found March 4 in a hotel room in Irving, Texas, near the Cowboys' workout facilities at Valley Ranch after a motel employee complained about noise. Irvin and two women also in the room were indicted INDICTED, practice. When a man is accused by a bill of indictment preferred by a grand jury, he is said to be indicted. March 1 on drug possession charges.
Last Tuesday, Irvin interrupted the trial to enter the no-contest plea.
Photo: MICHAEL IRVIN: will have an expensive, enforced vaca tion. His suspension by the NFL will cost him $102,647 a game.