Colts' Foster facing accusations

Colts defensive lineman Eric Foster is facing sexual assault allegations in a civil suit stemming from an incident alleged to have unfolded at the team hotel in the early morning hours before the AFC Championship Game.

It’s a civil, not a criminal case, because it was botched by authorities, the woman’s lawyer told the Chicago Sun-Times.

The Colts have declined comment.

The Colts have typically steered clear of off-the-field incidents, putting a large emphasis on character.

Defensive tackle Ed Johnson, who had an especially short leash, was promptly kicked off the team in 2008 after he was charged with marijuana possession. Brought back in 2009, he didn’t last long, but that time the team said it was over conditioning and performance.

It’s unclear what the team knew about the accusations against Foster and when. The timing of the suit making it to court is also not yet apparent.

But these days an NFL franchise’s security department is surprised by little. I expect Colts president Bill Polian and the NFL have known the details for some time.

League spokesman Greg Aiello said it was “not relevant” when the NFL became aware of the allegations and that “we will look at the facts but will not speculate what, if any, action could be taken” under the personal conduct policy.

It’s terrible if true, of course, and we need to hear from IUPUI officials about how things were handled at the time of the accusation.

For the time being, we have to give Foster the benefit of the doubt and the presumption of innocence.

The Colts might have been ready to take a defensive tackle for depth in the draft anyway. Now if they do, we'll be wondering if it has anything to do with the case against Foster.