While Colts safety Mike Doss awaits word from a Summit County grand jury that will meet on Friday to determine if there is enough evidence against him to proceed with a trial, the Colts wasted no time making their position clear regarding their expectation that their players be good citizens and role models.
And while condemnation of Doss' alleged problems with the law was clear, the Colts showed fairness by not passing final judgment until all the facts are known.
"We take a dim view of these types of things," Colts President Bill Polian said.
"By the middle to late part of next week, we hope to have all the facts and a decision about what discipline to impose."
Note the choice of words. Not "if" discipline will be imposed, but "what" discipline will be imposed. When you are a Colt, you agree to follow team rules based on high values. And it's clear by Polian's and head coach Tony Dungy's responses that Doss has certainly crossed a line in regards to what the team expects from their players.
"We will get all of the facts and we will determine what of our team rules have been violated," Dungy said. "Then, we'll make a decision on how to best handle that. But it will be significant and it will be swift."
The Colts' decisive response to the alleged behavior -- without condemning Mike Doss as a person -- is refreshing in this era where too many sports teams prefer to take a lax approach or a "boys will be boys" stance when their athletes run afoul of team rules and even the law.
Mike Doss should consider himself fortunate to be part of such a classy organization that will help teach him good life lessons in a positive way. And perhaps the most valuable one that they instill in their players is an understanding that as a Colt, you have a huge responsibility as a man.
"We have a lot of young people who look up to our guys," Dungy said. "I've said in the community very often that I don't care who of our 53 guys a young man holds up as a role model, he can be safe knowing he's holding up a good person. I'm not making any comments on Mike Doss as a person. Mike's a good guy, but we take that responsibility very seriously, and we think it's just as important as the ability to play the game."
And one other thing the Colts communicated with great expertise at this undoubtedly distressful time was that it's not fair for the fans or the media to take the action of a single player -- that occurred in a matter of seconds -- and paint a broad stroke of criticism at everyone within the organization.
The Colts are careful about selecting good people and good citizens throughout their organization. Their work in the community is significant. Their charitable work and donations impact many lives. And their conduct and professionalism on and off the field is usually impeccable.
They truly do set a standard that should be emulated by more teams in professional sports.
"We have so many guys doing so many (positive) things that rightly or wrongly don't get reported," Dungy lamented. "This will be something that's going to be a story for a few days that takes away from what 99 percent of these guys are doing."
No it won't, Tony. But it's wonderful -- and important -- that you are sensitive to the fact that it could.
The media and the fans that have watched the team closely over the past few years know what the Colts stand for. With Colts owner Jim Irsay, Bill Polian, and you setting the tone, the organization's message has been consistent and clear.
And as a result, most of us see incidents like this to be the strange anomaly that they are. The Colts consistently show themselves to be "the good guys" of the NFL.
That makes it a pleasure for us at ColtPower to be a media outlet covering your team. And it makes the fans proud to wear those blue jerseys, Colts caps, and proud to support this team .
No matter how this situation with Mike Doss turns out, ColtPower extends our thanks to the entire Colts organization for staying true to your ideals and values.
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