Former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. is interested in buying the Carolina Panthers, ESPN’s Jim Trotter reports.
I’m told Eddie DeBartolo definitely is exploring the possibility of putting together a group to purchase the Panthers. He will have competition if he goes forward. https://t.co/7Lg3ex1cBK
— Jim Trotter (@JimTrotter_NFL) December 19, 2017
Panthers owner Jerry Richardson announced his intent to sell on Sunday after Sports Illustrated reported that he had conducted inappropriate behavior of sexual and racial nature while team owner. On Monday, he announced that he is stepping down from team operations in the meantime.
Richardson has yet to acknowledge the allegations in the report.
DeBartolo oversaw one of the NFL’s great dynasties as owner of the 49ers from 1977-2000. The 49ers won five Super Bowls during that time with Hall of Famers Joe Montana, Steve Young, Jerry Rice and Ronnie Lott playing for coaches Bill Walsh and George Seifert.
He ceded control of the team to his sister Denise York in 2000 in the aftermath of his involvement in a bribery scandal in Louisiana where he was accused of paying then-governor Edwin Edwards to push forward a riverboat gambling operation.
He was also accused of sexually assaulting a cocktail waitress in a case that was never prosecuted but reportedly settled out of court for $200,000.
DeBartolo released a statement to the Tampa Bay Times declining to comment on his interest in the Panthers while the NFL is still in season.
Statement from HOF owner Edward DeBartolo Jr. on his interest in buying the Carolina Panthers as reported on ESPN. "I am going to respect Jerry Richardson’s wish to not discuss the sale of the Carolina Panthers until after their season is over."
— Rick Stroud (@NFLSTROUD) December 19, 2017
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