Redwood Times (http://www.redwoodtimes.com)

Could Eddie DeBartolo buy Carolina Panthers?


By Cam Inman, Bay Area News Group

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

(Click here, if you are unable to view this photo gallery on your mobile device.)
Count former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo among those wanting to buy the Carolina Panthers.
A day after the Panthers announced that embattled owner Jerry Richardson will sell the franchise, ESPN reported that DeBartolo is interested.
DeBartolo issued a statement saying he’d "respect Jerry Richardson’s wish to not discuss the sale of the Carolina Panthers until after their season is over," according to the Tampa Bay Times.
DeBartolo presided over the 49ers dynasty that produced five Super Bowl championships before he got entangled in legal trouble, drew a year suspension from the NFL and turned control of his 49ers shares to his sister, Denise DeBartolo York.
As the 49ers owner from 1977-2000, DeBartolo also revolutionized many aspects of the NFL, including from a business-operation and salary-cap standpoint.
Before getting voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame last year, DeBartolo shed more light on the end of his 49ers tenure, which was sparked by a corruption scandal related to a Louisiana gambling license. He pled guilty in 1998 to a felony charge of failing to report $400,000 in alleged extortion money to former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards.
"Truthfully the team wasn’t really taken away from me," DeBartolo said in January 2016. "This has been a misnomer for many, many years.
"Commissioner (Paul) Tagliabue did obviously suspend me (for a year). But as I was going through negotiations with my family — and with lawyers and a judge in Akron, Ohio — it didn’t come to that team being taken. It came down to a decision to be made, whether I wanted the 49ers or whether I wanted to take the other part of the company."
DeBartolo thus took hold of his family’s longtime real estate operations. He remains tight with many former 49ers, and that included being at Dwight Clark’s side when the iconic receiver was honored Oct. 22 at the 49ers game against the Dallas Cowboys amid Clark’s battle with ALS.
Other notables who’ve expressed interest in buying the Panthers are Sean “Diddy” Combs and subsequently former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and Warriors star Steph Curry.