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Report: Jimmy Haslam, NFL have indictment contingency strategy

Jimmy Haslam AP

Browns owner Jimmy Haslam has consulted with the NFL as his family’s Pilot Flying J trucking company deals with a fuel rebate controversy, Tony Grossi of ESPN Cleveland reported Sunday night.

Of particular note: Grossi quoted an unnamed league source who said that the NFL and Haslam “even have a plan in place in the event there is an indictment (of Haslam) to maintain ownership of the Browns during the legal process.” When asked about this, Haslam declined comment to Grossi, saying: “I don’t want to answer any legal questions.”

Haslam told Grossi that he does not intend to sell the Browns.

“We plan on owning the Browns for a long time,” Haslam said, per ESPN Cleveland.

That said, there will still be uncertainty surrounding Haslam’s ownership of the Browns until there’s some closure in the rebate mess. Pilot Flying J faces numerous lawsuits, and the company’s finances have been a topic of conversation of late.

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33 Responses to “Report: Jimmy Haslam, NFL have indictment contingency strategy”
  1. prideof10000lakes says: Jul 8, 2013 12:14 AM

    So Aaron Hernandez is guilty until proven innocent and no team dare speak to him by warning of penalty, but Haslam can keep a fraudulent business expense (browns) while operating a fraudulent company (flying j).

    Not tryin to equate murder to white collar crime by any means, but this sounds like roger goodell to me.

  2. crownofthehelmet says: Jul 8, 2013 12:33 AM

    “We plan on owning the Browns for a long time,”

    You should get advice from the Steelers. And about 28 other teams.

  3. mogogo1 says: Jul 8, 2013 12:34 AM

    They’d be stupid not to have a plan in place. The NFL is stuck with the guy, so best to try and limit the PR nightmare as much as possible. Where it could get REALLY messy is if he had to serve jail time.

  4. creamsiclecannon says: Jul 8, 2013 12:35 AM

    It’s alright Jimmy I’ll run the ship while you are behind bars and i will do it for 1 percent of the usual salary

  5. lcbrown12 says: Jul 8, 2013 12:38 AM

    I would be absolutely shocked if Haslam still owns the Browns in 2015.

  6. tokyosanbblaster says: Jul 8, 2013 12:46 AM

    Big deal. I’m an NFL owner (best $250 I ever spent) and I’ve been indicted. Hell, I have to register whenever I move – hasn’t affected my ownership status at all. Go Pack Go!

    Checkmate.

  7. seanx40 says: Jul 8, 2013 1:00 AM

    What if the Feds freeze Haslam’s assets? They tend to do things like that. Who would meet the Browns payroll? What if Haslam is found guilty? Would the Feds seize the team? This is kind of fun. Unless you are a Browns employee.

  8. turkjones says: Jul 8, 2013 1:36 AM

    So basically this just means the NFL won’t force Haslam to sell the team unless he is found complicit. I’d have been far more surprised if they forced a sale BEFORE he is indicted and has his day in court.

    As a Browns fan, I hope he’s not involved but fully expect/hope he’ll be forced to sell if found guilty of the suspected charges. A white collar “Robin Hood in reverse” like Haslam has no place in our town.

  9. xaviermw says: Jul 8, 2013 1:46 AM

    They should just move the team to Baltimore, where there is no crime anywhere.

  10. hedleykow says: Jul 8, 2013 1:58 AM

    Seems like a nice enough guy (if he happens to be your uncle, maybe). A major red flag is that his brother is the Gov of TN. Pilot Flying J corporate headquarters are located in TN. Do some math with me. You dummies do understand that a billion dollars is one thousand million, right? And you understand that Pilot Flying J had 25 billion in revenues in 2012 alone, right? Think about it.

  11. granadafan says: Jul 8, 2013 2:05 AM

    Too bad the NFL can’t cut Haslam.

  12. briscocountyjr says: Jul 8, 2013 2:50 AM

    Not hard to see who the worst team in the league is, that’s for sure!

  13. drfeelyouup says: Jul 8, 2013 2:52 AM

    Jimmy the crook will be selling this team before long. You can’t believe a word this guy says.

  14. dcapettini says: Jul 8, 2013 3:05 AM

    How will the league prevent Haslam’s creditors from freezing ownership of the club to insure that they are repaid? If Pilot Flying J assets were used to buy the Browns then the courts will then dispose of the Browns to satisfy judgments. The whole thing will take a very long time and any additional expenditures will be subject to court approval.

  15. vontazemebro says: Jul 8, 2013 3:05 AM

    Guess the indictment is coming…lol

  16. 4512dawg4512 says: Jul 8, 2013 4:48 AM

    He should have just stuck with the Pittsburgh “Stealers”, would have been more fitting

  17. alonestartexan says: Jul 8, 2013 5:24 AM

    I truly feel sorry for Browns fans. Is there a team in the league with any worse luck?

  18. audient says: Jul 8, 2013 6:28 AM

    He has a plan? Oh, that’s a relief.

    Regardless, Haslam still has a long way to go before he becomes the most reviled owner ever of the Cleveland Browns. When Jimmy starts borrowing money to pay signing bonuses like Art Modell did, look out.

  19. richkotitte says: Jul 8, 2013 6:54 AM

    Things will eventually turn around for Cleveland , but it’s looking like later than sooner.

  20. youarejealousof6rings says: Jul 8, 2013 7:07 AM

    Ladies and Gents,

    The Greiveland Frowns.

  21. joowishy says: Jul 8, 2013 7:21 AM

    It’s hard enough to be a Browns field watching them on the field. This off the field stuff is worse. Once again Pittsburgh won by getting rid of Haslam.

  22. therealbillybuffalo says: Jul 8, 2013 8:10 AM

    Why does he need a plan if he is innocent?

  23. h0c2000 says: Jul 8, 2013 8:25 AM

    The NFL should make like the Patriots and cut him if he’s arrested.

  24. minnesoulja says: Jul 8, 2013 8:46 AM

    Funny how Haslam owns a team who has appeared to be “running on empty” for a generation plus now.

    He (like most blue collared criminals) wont see time. And if he does has justice served, it will be in a prison with no fences and a 24 hour kitchen.

    His companies crimes have accounted for a lot of money being snaked from the cargo/freight trucking industry, which heightens cost of everything to the consumer.

    We the people should take the time to demand that justice be found and served. I am sick of rising prices everywhere and to think that scam’s like this play no roll is absolute niavete.

    Shame on you Jim Haslam. Like owning the Browns wasn’t reason enough.

  25. cbusbrownie says: Jul 8, 2013 8:52 AM

    When will Cleveland get a damn break for Gods sake?

  26. vibesid says: Jul 8, 2013 9:00 AM

    Too bad Cleveland has a crook for an owner. It will hurt the team. Of course the Browns can’t sink any lower than they already are.

  27. harrisonhits2 says: Jul 8, 2013 10:16 AM

    What’s the plan after Haslam is convicted and sent to prison for a few years ?

  28. junior4200 says: Jul 8, 2013 12:28 PM

    The NFL sure didn’t treat Eddie Debartolo Jr. this nice when he was under investigation for a similar level of crime. They made him relinquish ownership of the 49ers because they didn’t want to tarnish the reputation of the league. Of course DeBartolo dominated during his ownership reign and that was probably out of jealously more than anything else. Haslem should relinquish control of the Browns until this matter is solved. I vote they let the Dog Pound run the team. :-)

  29. brianratm says: Jul 8, 2013 12:53 PM

    Mogogo1 is right, the NFL is stuck with him. Only the mindless would compare it to a player getting in trouble. Lets relate things to the average person. The players are your house cleaners. One commits a crime in the community you may be inclined to fire them from working at your house. If you get charged with fraud at your place of employment your employer is not going to take your house.

  30. jackblackshairyback says: Jul 8, 2013 12:59 PM

    dcapettini says:
    Jul 8, 2013 3:05 AM
    How will the league prevent Haslam’s creditors from freezing ownership of the club to insure that they are repaid? If Pilot Flying J assets were used to buy the Browns then the courts will then dispose of the Browns to satisfy judgments. The whole thing will take a very long time and any additional expenditures will be subject to court approval.
    ————————————————

    Haqslam owns the Browns, not Pilot/Flying J. And there’s this thing called corporate shield law.

  31. jackblackshairyback says: Jul 8, 2013 1:01 PM

    junior4200 says:
    Jul 8, 2013 12:28 PM
    The NFL sure didn’t treat Eddie Debartolo Jr. this nice when he was under investigation for a similar level of crime. They made him relinquish ownership of the 49ers because they didn’t want to tarnish the reputation of the league.
    ———————————————–
    DeBartolo was forced to relinquish the 49ers to his sister, who in turn handed it over to her husband, jed York. And Eddie was only forced to do so after he pleaded guilty.

    I imagine if Haslam is forced to give up ownership, it would pass to family as well.

  32. walkinginthewasteland says: Jul 8, 2013 2:24 PM

    lcbrown12 says: Jul 8, 2013 12:38 AM

    I would be absolutely shocked if Haslam still owns the Browns in 2015.
    _____________

    You and Drew Brees.

  33. benwaballs11 says: Jul 9, 2013 1:53 PM

    Time for me to dust off the Carlton Sheets “No Money Down” tapes to look for the volume regarding NFL ownership. You too can own an NFL team using little or none of your own money!

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