The NFL previously has said there’s no plan in place for dealing with the ownership of the Browns if Jimmy Haslam faces federal fraud charges. But the NFL always has a plan, even for stuff that doesn’t really need a plan.
According to Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal, Haslam’s father, Jim, would take over the Browns, if Jimmy Haslam is forced to step down.
It’s not clear what would prompt Jimmy Haslam to step aside, and Kaplan says there’s no immediate plan for a transition in power. At a minimum, an indictment could prompt the Pilot Flying J CEO to hand the reins to the man who founded the billion-dollar company now embroiled in scandal, even though Jim Haslam has had no role in the scam that has resulted in seven guilty pleas, and counting.
“We are not commenting on any potential scenarios,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told Kaplan. Which is a lot more telling than the league’s prior position that there are no scenarios other than “business as usual.”
Though the Browns are doing their best to project a business-as-usual vibe, there’s nothing usual about having an owner who could be indicted by a grand jury, pretty much at any time.