Re: WEEI: Michael Irvin every Friday, Jones/Edelman every Monday
posted at 8/19/2014 3:47 PM EDT
In March 1996, Irvin was arrested on charges of cocaine possession at a hotel party celebrating his 30th birthday. When arrested he was lying on the floor covered in cocaine with multiple strippers performing sexual acts upon him. After numerous court appearances amid a national media circus, which featured Irvin showing up to court in a full-length mink coat, he pled no contest to the charges and was sentenced to community service, ordered to pay a $10,000 fine, and put on 4-years probation. When tested for illegal drugs, he tested negative. But the NFL suspended Irvin for the first five games of the 1996 season.
In Irvin's 1996 absence, the Cowboys struggled out of the gate, but went 8-3 down the stretch to win their fifth straight division title. After his suspension, Irvin tallied 962 receiving yards in only 11 games.
Sexual assault allegation
Irvin's reputation was further damaged in 1996 as the Cowboys prepared to play the Carolina Panthers in the NFC Divisional Playoff game. Media reports stated that Irvin and teammate Erik Williams while under the influence of cocaine had sexually assaulted a Dallas Cheerleader, Nina Shahravan, and, with a gun to her head, videotaped the interaction.
Despite Williams' and Irvin's denials of the allegations, the story overshadowed the game, which the Cowboys lost. The accuser was later proven to have fabricated the entire incident. She recanted her story, pled guilty to perjury and filing a false police report, and was sentenced to 90 days in jail and a fine.
In the first quarter of the playoff game with Carolina, with Shahravan's allegations under active investigation by Dallas police, Irvin suffered a broken collarbone, ending his 1996 season.
1998 alleged assault
In 1998 Irvin was alleged to be involved in a bizarre incident during training camp when he allegedly inflicted a two-inch cut in the neck of Dallas guard Everett McIver while some team members were getting haircuts. Whether it was battery or accidental McIver did not press charges, and rumors swirled that Irvin brokered a six-figure settlement with McIver to drop the matter. Accounts of this incident after the alleged settlement became difficult to find or research in the local Dallas press.
Arrests since retirement
A year following his retirement from the NFL, Irvin again was arrested on drug possession charges. In this case, Irvin was in a Dallas apartment with an unrelated woman. Neither answered the door when police drug task force agents arrived with a search warrant. Police entered the apartment forcibly, finding drugs. Irvin and the female were placed under arrest, though charges against Irvin were later dropped.
The promises of a new lifestyle in broadcasting appeared to be short-lived, with Irvin again arrested. In this instance Irvin was pulled over in Plano, Texas, for speeding on November 25, 2005. Irvin was arrested on an outstanding warrant on an unpaid speeding ticket in Irving, Texas, but was also cited for misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia after police searched his car and found a pipe, and plastic bags with marijuana residue. Irvin was arrested for a Class C misdemeanor. He was later released on bond.
Two days after his arrest, Irvin appeared on ESPN's "Sunday NFL Countdown", as scheduled, on November 27, 2005. In his on-the-air comments that evening, he stated that he had taken the drug paraphernalia away from a longtime friend who was battling a drug addiction. Irvin told the Associated Press he was trying to help someone close to him get off drugs and cares more about that than his chances of being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The next day Irvin said the pipe was in fact his brother's and he (Irvin) was going to throw it out but had forgotten to do so.
On December 1, 2005, however, ESPN suspended Irvin for the Sunday and Monday night Countdown shows on December 4 and December 5, 2005. He returned to both shows with no mention or consequence of the past incident.
Another sexual assault allegation
On July 4, 2007 Irvin was accused of sexual assault while he was at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida. Charges were never filed, but a civil suit was filed against him in 2010. Irvin filed a $100 million defamation countersuit, which was dropped when the case was settled out of court in January, 2011.
Victim of alleged carjacking attempt
Irvin claims that he was a victim of a possible carjacking attempt while stopped at a light in Dallas on January 12, 2009. He filed a police report claiming that two men flashed a gun at him, but eventually drove away after commenting that they were Cowboys fans. Dallas police suspended their investigation two weeks later, stating that Irvin had not cooperated in the investigation and that without more information from him, they could not proceed.
Controversy continued to follow Irvin when during a November 2006 radio interview on the Dan Patrick show, Irvin joked that Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo's athletic ability may have been due to African-American heritage, and made references to Romo's maternal relatives being involved with "slave brothers". Irvin later apologized. He explained himself saying, "this is how I joke around with Romo when we're playing basketball. There's a difference from me the player and me the broadcaster".
On February 17, 2007, during its late edition of SportsCenter, ESPN announced that Irvin was no longer with the network. ESPN Communications Vice President Josh Krulewitz said of Irvin, "We thank Michael for his contributions to ESPN and wish him well." However, eleven months later, in January 2008, Irvin rejoined ESPN as a host on ESPN Radio O&O KESN (103.3 FM) in Dallas, hosting The Michael Irvin Show. This locally-aired program ended on February 5, 2010, and Irvin was let go after his contract expired. An ESPN spokesman cited declining ratings and that news of a lawsuit filed against Irvin for a 2007 incident "simply expedited the situation".