A day after rampant rumors that Pro Football Hall of Fame president David Baker would be leaving the job, Baker has announced his retirement.
Baker said in the announcement that he will “return to his home, family and business projects in California and Nevada.”
The retirement is effective immediately. However, he will continue to represent the Hall of Fame at “Ring of Excellence” ceremonies for the remainder of the current schedule. He’ll be in Pittsburgh tomorrow night, for example.
Like many sudden and abrupt departures, this one will trigger plenty of speculation as to whether the stated reason is the real reason. Of all weeks, which began with the sudden and abrupt resignation of Raiders coach Jon Gruden, many will wonder whether there’s something else going on.
Frankly, that’s why, even if this was planned well in advance, it would have been smart to let the Gruden/WFT news cycle die down a bit before announcing the decision. With Baker still making the public appearances, he could have quietly retired now, and the move could have been announced later, at the right time to minimize any speculation regarding whether it was fully and completely voluntary.