2015 DRAFT GUIDE
Haslam has no plans to step away from Browns

By TOM WITHERS - AP Sports Writer
    2013-04-19 19:13

CLEVELAND (AP) - Browns owner Jimmy Haslam pledged to continue running his family's business - and NFL team - amid a federal investigation into fraud within his company.

Haslam said Friday he has no plans to step aside as president of Pilot Flying J despite federal authorities alleging he was aware of a widespread scheme to defraud customers of the truck stop chain. According to court documents, sales team members said Haslam was aware that employees withheld diesel price rebates and discounts from Pilot customers to boost the company's profits and sales commissions.

After spending one day at the Browns' headquarters in Berea, Ohio, Haslam returned to Tennessee to profess his innocence and make it clear he wasn't stepping down during the probe.

``I thought to myself, `Well, why would I do that?' Candidly, I haven't done anything wrong, No. 1,'' Haslam said at Pilot's headquarters in Knoxville. ``No. 2, if there's ever a time the company needs our leadership, it's right now.''

Haslam did not address the Browns while talking to reporters. He also refused to answer questions after making his remarks, which were distributed to the media afterward.

But later, during an appearance at the University of Tennessee, Haslam told AP his role with the Browns would remain the same.

``No change. I look forward to the draft next week,'' he said.

This will be the Browns' first draft under Haslam, who bought the franchise last year from Randy Lerner for just over $1 billion. Lerner still maintains 30 percent of the team, but that will be transferred to Haslam in four years.

Earlier, NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said the league had no plans to ask Haslam to step aside while the FBI investigates his involvement in the alleged scheme.

Aiello said in an email that the league is not concerned about the daily operations of the Browns and that ``there are no such plans'' to have Haslam remove himself temporarily from the team.

Haslam's second meeting this week with reporters came one day after a 120-page affidavit was unsealed in Knoxville. The document says Haslam knew about a fraud scheme committed by top sales officials in the company that targeted some unsophisticated trucking companies.

Haslam stepped down as Pilot's CEO shortly after his purchase of the Browns was approved by NFL owners in October. However, he returned to the company in February, saying he needed to be involved in the business, which his father started in 1958.

Cleveland has the No. 6 overall pick in next week's draft. On Thursday, Browns CEO Joe Banner and general manager Mike Lombardi gave few hints about the team's plans. Haslam is trying to turn around a franchise that last made the playoffs in 2002 and is on its sixth head coach since 1999.

As Haslam wrapped up his availability on Friday, he was asked if he'll lead the Browns to a Super Bowl.

``Eventually, yes'' he said, smiling.

---

Associated Press writer Steve Megargee in Knoxville, Tenn., contributed to this report.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Arian FosterAug 4 02:53p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) will undergo surgery on his injured groin. He should return during the season, however.

Arian FosterAug 4 02:23p

Updating a previous report, Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) may need surgery on his injured groin.

Arian FosterAug 4 01:33p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) suffered a groin injury during the team's first fully padded practice Monday, Aug. 3, according to sources.

Terrance WestAug 4 10:52a

Cleveland Browns RB Terrance West appears to be on thin ice because of maturity issues, and his conditioning is a question, according to ESPNCleveland.com's Tony Grossi.

Doug MartinAug 3 09:32p

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin was confirmed as the team's lead back Monday, Aug. 3, by head coach Lovie Smith. 'We talked about being able to establish the [ More ]

L. WashingtonAug 3 07:22p

Free-agent WR L'Damian Washington signed with the Kansas City Chiefs Monday, Aug. 3.

Senquez GolsonAug 3 07:12p

Pittsburgh Steelers CB Senquez Golson (shoulder) told ESPN Monday, Aug. 3, he might need surgery on an injured shoulder, and he will find out in the next few days. [ More ]

Ace SandersAug 3 07:02p

Free-agent WR Ace Sanders (Jaguars) was suspended 10 games by the NFL Monday, Aug. 3, for a second violation of the league's drug policy.

Stephen HillAug 3 05:52p

Free-agent WR Stephen Hill (knee) was placed on Reserve/Injured Monday, Aug. 3, after being waived/injured Sunday, Aug. 2.

Michael EgnewAug 3 05:42p

Pittsburgh Steelers TE Michael Egnew was released Monday, Aug. 3.

Kevin ConeAug 3 05:42p

Cleveland Browns WR Kevin Cone was waived Monday, Aug. 3.

Timothy FlandersAug 3 05:22p

Free-agent RB Timothy Flanders (Saints) signed with the Cleveland Browns Monday, Aug. 3.

Jalen ParmeleAug 3 04:52p

Free-agent RB Jalen Parmele (Cardinals) was signed by the Cleveland Browns Monday, Aug. 3.

Kyle WilliamsAug 3 04:42p

Denver Broncos WR Kyle Williams (Achilles') was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Monday, Aug. 3. WR Corbin Louks was subsequently signed.

Matt ElamAug 3 03:32p

Updating a previous report, Baltimore Ravens FS Matt Elam (biceps) will have surgery on his torn biceps soon and will officially be out for the season.

Michael JohnsonAug 3 02:32p

Updating a previous report, Cincinnati Bengals DE Michael Johnson (knee) will be out four weeks with a grade 2 medial collateral ligament sprain.

Matt ElamAug 3 11:12a

Baltimore Ravens FS Matt Elam (arm) will likely miss the entire 2015 season with a torn biceps muscle suffered during a full-contact practice Sunday, Aug. 2.

Stephen HillAug 2 08:02p

The Carolina Panthers waived WR Stephen Hill (knee) after he tore his anterior cruciate ligament Sunday, Aug. 2.

Terrelle PryorAug 2 07:52p

Cleveland Browns WR Terrelle Pryor took reps with the first-team offense during training camp Sunday, Aug. 2.

Martavis BryantAug 2 04:22p

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Martavis Bryant (elbow) will undergo a procedure for an elbow infection that will cause him to miss the Hall of Fame Game Sunday, Aug. 9, against [ More ]

Michael EgnewAug 2 03:02p

The Pittsburgh Steelers have released TE Michael Egnew.

Tony McDanielAug 2 12:12p

The Seattle Seahawks released DT Tony McDaniel Sunday, Aug. 2. McDaniel should quickly find a new home.

Stephen HillAug 2 12:02p

Carolina Panthers WR Stephen Hill (knee) has an ACL injury, according to assistant head coach Steve Wilks Sunday, Aug. 2.

Sam BradfordAug 2 11:52a

Philadelphia Eagles QB Sam Bradford (knee) has been cleared for 11-on-11 drills Sunday, Aug. 2, and head coach Chip Kelly told reporters the quarterback doesn't have any restrictions.

Stephen HillAug 2 10:12a

The Carolina Panthers signed free-agent WR Paul Browning Sunday, Aug. 2. Browning is expected to take WR Stephen Hill's roster spot.

Brandon BoykinAug 1 08:12p

The Pittsburgh Steelers acquired CB Brandon Boykin from the Philadelphia Eagles Saturday, Aug. 1, in exchange for a conditional fifth-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. The Eagles could [ More ]

Kyle WilliamsAug 1 02:22p

Denver Broncos WR Kyle Williams (Achilles') suffered at least a partially torn Achilles' tendon in practice Saturday, Aug. 1, according to a source. He may be out for the season.

Melvin GordonAug 1 02:12p

San Diego Chargers RB Melvin Gordon has struggled with pass protection through the first three days of training camp.

Devin SmithJul 31 09:32p

New York Jets WR Devin Smith (ribs) will miss a majority of training camp after suffering broken ribs Friday, July 31, according to the team. He will be held [ More ]

Bashaud BreelandJul 31 07:42p

Washington Redskins CB Bashaud Breeland (knee) is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks because of a knee injury he suffered during practice Friday, July 31.

Bashaud BreelandJul 31 07:22p

Washington Redskins CB Bashaud Breeland has been suspended one game by the NFL for violating the league's substance abuse policy. Breeland received a citation for marijuana possession last year.

Jason Pierre-PaulJul 31 06:22p

New York Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul (hand) is not allowed to use his injured hand while it is healing from the fireworks accident he had earlier this month. Pierre-Paul [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group