Disgraced Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson is not only selling the team at the conclusion of the season, he's relinquishing day-to-day control effective immediately. The 81-year-old is stepping from the daily operation and will focus on the pending sale of the franchise.
Becker has been with the club for 19 years and will be promoted from executive director to chief operating officer.
"These have been some of the most hard days of my 19 years with the Panthers, but I am lifted up by the strong resolve and the commitment our employees have shown to this organization", Becker said, according to the team's official website. The founder and owner is being investigated by the National Football League for workplace misconduct and announced Sunday that he is going to sell the Panthers after the season concludes.
"Our team on the field is performing at a very high level, and I believe is bound for the Super Bowl". That investigation has since been taken over by the NFL. Although the Panthers didn't reveal what the specific allegations were against Richardson, a detailed report from Sports Illustrated on Sunday shed some light on what Richardson was facing. The allegations include Richardson asking female employees if he could personally shave their legs and saying some women were able to "wiggle" into their jeans.
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Carolina were awarded the NFL's 29th franchise in 1993, and Richardson's team was valued at $2.3 billion in September, according to Forbes.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera said on Monday he hopes the new owner would keep the team in Charlotte. Rivera admitted to being "taken back a bit" by the report, but did not want to comment on the National Football League investigation.
He added: "I know the allegations are serious". We need to have all the answers before we can do any of that.
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