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League says no plan in place in the event of a Haslam indictment

Jimmy Haslam AP

Amid reports that the NFL and the Browns have a plan in place if owner Jimmy Haslam is indicted, the plan is there is no plan.

According to WEWS-TV in Cleveland, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said there’s “no plan in place” if Haslam faces formal charges arising from customer rebate fraud at Pilot Flying J, the family-owned company Haslam runs.

ESPN Cleveland has reported that the NFL and the Browns have agreed that Haslam will continue to own the Browns through the legal process, if/when he’s indicted.  In contrast, former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo stepped down once he was indicted on federal charges in 1999.

“We are staying in close contact with the NFL during the investigation,” Pilot Flying J spokesman Tom Ingram told WEWS.  “We expect no change in Mr. Haslam’s relationship with the NFL and/or his ownership of the Browns.  Any other statement is unfounded media guessing.”

But Ingram’s statement meshes with the ESPN Cleveland report; if Haslam is indicted, he’ll continue to own the Browns.

Maybe it’s just wishful thinking on Haslam’s part — and maybe the NFL doesn’t want to commit to anything until it gets a chance to read the indictment, if an indictment comes.

Five Pilot Flying J executives have pleaded guilty in connection with the customer rebate scam.  At least one of the guilty pleas states that “senior management” was aware of the fraudulent conduct.  Haslam has at all times denied knowledge of the wrongdoing.

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9 Responses to “League says no plan in place in the event of a Haslam indictment”
  1. tokyosandb1aster says: Jul 10, 2013 12:29 AM

    Why shouldn’t he be able to own his team if he gets indicted? Hell, I’ve been indicted plenty. I have to notify local law enforcement when I move into a new neighborhood. I still have all my rights as an NFL owner. Best $250 I ever spent, too. Go Pack!

  2. sc49ers says: Jul 10, 2013 12:29 AM

    Eddie did everything for the team and the famlies of the players this owner is in the wrong and he’s getting away with it money is not everything you need your players respect eddie had that..the greatest owner ever….

  3. thefox61 says: Jul 10, 2013 12:40 AM

    How about a rebate?

  4. andreweac says: Jul 10, 2013 1:06 AM

    Hey, at least he wasn’t stealing taxpayer dollars for a new stadium.

  5. bringbackkosar says: Jul 10, 2013 1:13 AM

    does innocent until proven guilty have any relevance in this case?

  6. exboomer says: Jul 10, 2013 7:50 AM

    It sounds like the police are relying on the word of a convicted former employee and if they are then I think their case is more than a little shaky.

  7. bunkslurpscrabmustard says: Jul 10, 2013 8:55 AM

    Ahh yes Pilot Flying J, the haven for I-95 “lot lizards”

  8. ytownjoe says: Jul 10, 2013 9:27 AM

    “Hey, at least he wasn’t stealing taxpayer dollars for a new stadium.”

    But he did not hesitate for one second to cash in and sell the name of the taxpayer funded stadium and pocket $10 million. I’m sure the dough will be helpful in buying the best defense attorneys that money can buy.

  9. bigdawgy54 says: Jul 10, 2013 10:16 AM

    The NFL in my opinion did a very poor job in vetting Jimmy Haslam as a candidate for ownership. He and company had to pay out millions to settle a case that involved Pilot Flying J price gouging folks trying to recover from two separate hurricanes. This situation with Haslam and company simply continues a pattern, in my opinion.
    Cleveland deserves better.

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