In the latest installment in a bitter feud, the Colts announced today they have suspended veteran wide receiver Roger Carr for three weeks without pay and fined him an unspecified amount on grounds Carr's "actions, attitude and insubordination" in training camp "constitute conduct detrimental to the club."
Carr has let it be known that he wants to be traded by the Colts, who are rebuilding under new Coach Frank Kush, a hard-line disciplinarian who ran the Arizona State University football program for 22 years before moving to Canada to coach the pros in 1979. "I won't play another down for him," Carr said today.
Since reporting to camp at Goucher College on July 20, Carr has dramatized his plight by refusing to participate in certain drills and by vociferously making known his wish to be traded.
But Carr is under contract to the Colts through the 1983 season and General Manager Ernie Accorsi said he has made no efforts to trade the 30-year-old Louisianan who had 38 receptions and three touchdowns last year.
"We are listening to offers," Accorsi said, "but we aren't going to make any trade if it is not helpful to the club. Judging from the offers we've had, it would not be.
"He's an outstanding player," said Accorsi. "You don't give a player like that away or you erode the team. That's been done here in the past and it's one way we got where we are (a 2-14 record last season)."
Carr, relaxing in his condominium near Goucher while his mates worked out under a scorching sun, said he made it clear two months ago that he did not want to be part of the rebuilding effort under Kush. "I'm tired of starting over," he said. "This would be my seventh head coach."
Carr said he was distressed by club decisions to trade or release such veterans as Bert Jones, the quarterback with whom he teamed as a passing threat, offensive guard Robert Pratt, strong safety Bruce Laird and defensive tackle Mike Barnes.
"No one says you have to be in the playoffs every year, but you have to convince me you're trying to improve and they haven't," said Carr.
He said he phoned Kush with his trade request and "he hung up on me twice. For two months I tried to call him and never got a return call."
Club officials said that when Carr reported to camp three days early last week he shouted, "Let me out of here" in the lobby of camp headquarters, threw his bags down and made other pointed indications of his unhappiness.
Teammate Mike Ozdowski, the Colts' representative on the NFL Players Association, confirmed that these scenes occurred and that Carr refused to take part in some drills.
Kush said of Carr: "He came in and just wouldn't do anything. He wouldn't participate in practice or drills. There was more than enough effort made to reason. He has a responsibility to the club to participate actively. When he didn't, that was it."
Teammate Ken Huff, a seven-year Colts veteran, said Carr's dispute has not affected other players because "everybody is too busy trying to make the team." Huff said the feeling among veterans is that Carr "wants out and it's in his best interest and the Colts' for him to get out at this point."
But, Huff added, "The Colts at least want to get something for him. The other clubs are sitting back and saying, 'Wait a week or two and the price will go down.' "
Carr said veteran teammates supported him. "Nobody has been telling me, 'You're messing up.' "
"Nobody blames him," said Huff. "I've known Roger a long time. He's very talented and he has two or three good years left. He doesn't want to be here and he doesn't see why he should have to. I'm sorry to see him in the situation he's in."
Added rookie quarterback Art Schlichter, "It's really kind of funny. All the guys are laughing about how hard he's trying to get out; how determined he is."