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Haslam apologizes to fellow owners for federal probe

Cleveland Browns Rookie Camp Getty Images

Though it wasn’t on the agenda — between rubber-stamping Super Bowl sites and giving each other money — yesterday’s NFL owners meeting also included an apology.

According to Jarrett Bell of USA Today, new Browns owner Jimmy Haslam offered an explanation to his business partners about the recent federal investigation of his trucking business, and told them about steps he was taking to fix the problem.

“I thought it was important,” Haslam said. “We’re partners in the NFL. I wanted to address them face-to-face.”

His fellow owners were apparently touched by the five-minute talk, in which he apologized for any negative attention he brought to the league.

“I know he feels a sense of embarrassment,” Patriots owner Robert Kraft said. “He said they’re going to do everything they can to get it under control and put it behind them, and that he felt bad for the attention that it brought to the Cleveland franchise and the NFL, and he was going to make it right.”

“He is the new kid in town in terms of NFL ownership,” Giants co-owner Steve Tisch said. “And to sort of deal with an issue like this in the first quarter is impressive.”

The league passed him through a vetting process before he was allowed to buy the Browns, and nothing came up then. And it sounds like his business partners were impressed by his willingness to open up to them, which included an offer for private explanations if anyone needed them.

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18 Responses to “Haslam apologizes to fellow owners for federal probe”
  1. Punk says: May 22, 2013 8:39 AM

    “Partners” is an interesting term to use.

  2. petehemlock says: May 22, 2013 8:41 AM

    Crook

  3. harrisonhits2 says: May 22, 2013 8:46 AM

    “which included an offer for private explanations if anyone needed them.”
    ___________________________

    I’m a thief on a huge scale but hopefully won’t be going to jail. Please don’t make me sell my team.

  4. thejohnsmith1122 says: May 22, 2013 8:49 AM

    I’m sure the other owner’s don’t run the cleanest business either. It just so happens Haslam’s business got caught.

  5. macbull says: May 22, 2013 8:54 AM

    “He is the new kid in town in terms of NFL ownership,” Giants co-owner Steve Tisch said. “And to sort of deal with an issue like this in the first quarter is impressive.”

    ….Say What…impressive?

    This is not a game…people will likely go to jail and one of them might be Haslam…would that be “impressive”?

    Cleveland and the fans deserves better than this from the owner…brings back the memories of Modell.

    But Browns fans can ignore the “owner’s issue”, preferring to focusing on the young team and the new coaching staff, hoping they are up to the task of developing the team’s young talent into a winner.

    The Haslam rebate thing…just a bump in the road to Browns fans, who are used to adversity.

    This lifelong Browns fan is looking forward to the 2013 season as it’s time to start reaping the rewards from the rebuild that started in 2010.

    …WOOF…go Browns

  6. threefeetaway says: May 22, 2013 9:05 AM

    The owners aren’t the ones who deserve the apology…the franchise and Cleveland really deserve that attention.

  7. d10ballfan says: May 22, 2013 9:15 AM

    Haslam sure has no problems issuing an apology. Every time I read a story the dude is apologizing. I guess that’s good and most people mention the word sincere w/his apology.

    I sure hope he wasn’t involved in this mess. Regardless he is going to owe alot of $$ to alot of people.

  8. jrs45 says: May 22, 2013 9:30 AM

    Johnsmith,

    You’re correct! They are all shady!

  9. hooockey says: May 22, 2013 9:45 AM

    When I’m low on gas and see a Flying J station, I just keep on driving. I’d never give a dime to those crooks.

    Poor Browns fans. The Browns franchise must be cursed. Meanwhile, the old Browns just won their 2nd Superbowl. Yikes.

  10. blantoncollier says: May 22, 2013 10:06 AM

    Can his next apology be for hiring I Am Not Vince Lombardi?

  11. nfloracle says: May 22, 2013 10:29 AM

    This reminds me of the guy in Deadwood who came down with TB. Calamity Jane nursed him back to health out in the woods, and he kept saying, over and over again, “I’m sorry. I’m sorrreee, I’m sorry.”

    Great show. Never should have been cancelled.

  12. yooperman says: May 22, 2013 10:32 AM

    Flying F’s scram was making a half a million a month, but hey, he didn’t know anything about it.

  13. thetooloftools says: May 22, 2013 11:32 AM

    Never ever ever mess with the FBI. If they raid your business, someone’s going to prison.

  14. niner13 says: May 22, 2013 11:32 AM

    Jimmy failed to paraphrase Harry Truman — the truck stops here — when apologizing to fellow owners. Instead he blames those he hired for the financial skullduggery that he knew nothing about.
    Yeah right and Pete Carrol didn’t know his guys were juicing.

  15. mazblast says: May 22, 2013 11:38 AM

    hooockey says: May 22, 2013 9:45 AM

    When I’m low on gas and see a Flying J station, I just keep on driving. I’d never give a dime to those crooks.
    ————————————–
    I’m just the opposite. I was driving to Columbus last Saturday and would have stopped at Flying J if not for the fact that I was at 3/4 of a tank.

    Haslam hasn’t been charged, let alone tried, let alone convicted. I’m not saying he didn’t do anything, or that he did do anything. It’s entirely possible that he knew, and possible that some guys who have been caught are trying to cut a deal by implicating him.

  16. kingkornkahn says: May 22, 2013 12:07 PM

    How could the CEO not know about outstanding rebates that affected hundreds of customers and tens of millions of dollars? He doesn’t strike me as being that dumb and certainly not that passive. My bet is willful ignorance on Haslam’s part. If he was brazen enough to discuss this policy openly in meetings, he deserves to go to jail.

  17. mrfrostyj says: May 22, 2013 1:19 PM

    I honestly don’t get why this is made such a big deal of. This isn’t even national news worthy (google it and see how many sources outside of Cleveland and the NFL have even covered it). Pilot/Flying J has more money going in and out of that business than the government can print. Have we not noticed how every time you read about this guy it’s him basically face to facing everyone this effected? He knows he can pretty much make this problem go away by paying everyone off (in the reports it said one of the SALESMAN bought a 1 million dollar busted up airplane to keep word from getting out when he got caught…..A SALESMAN in this organization has that kind of money so how much do you think Haslam has?)

    When I first heard about the FBI and IRS basically shutting down the headquarters I was thinking some major federal fraud was going down. This is basically the truck stop equivalent of Wal mart not honoring some coupons. I mean honestly, facebook has to pay millions of people in a class action lawsuit for using their likeness illegally and I’m pretty sure those people still use facebook (as many of these companies who are suing Pilot are admittedly still using them today).

    As for Haslams personal guilt, I doubt he’s guilty. He doesn’t seem like a guy dumb enough to step down from a business he knows was doing wrong and then GO BACK TO IT when he could have easily let someone else take the heat.

  18. brownsclown says: May 22, 2013 1:35 PM

    He really should apologize to the Browns’ fans for hiring Mike Lombardloss as GM. Compared to that travesty the Flying J investigation is trivial.

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