Richardson selling Panthers, Becker named COO in control of day-to-day management

Staff reports

The Carolina Panthers announced Monday that Tina Becker has been named Chief Operating Officer, with full control of the day-to-day management of the organization, amid allegations against team owner Jerry Richardson.

“These have been some of the most difficult 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 in a story posted on Panthers.com.

“Our team on the field is performing at a very high level, and I believe is bound for the Super Bowl. My immediate focus will be to ensure the corporate side of the organization performs at the same high level, while addressing the real concerns that have been raised in recent days,” Becker said.

Becker has worked for the organization “and served in key roles along the way, including directing the organization’s business and administrative priorities, as well as dealing with league affairs,” according to the Panthers.

Becker will become one of the highest-ranking female executives for any of the 32 teams in the National Football League, according to NFL officials.

Richardson announced Sunday he would be selling the franchise at the end of this season.

The Panthers announced an internal investigation Friday led by the outside international law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart and Sullivan, LLP, and overseen by limited owner and former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles.

The NFL announced Sunday that the league would hire an independent law firm to lead the investigation.

Sports Illustrated reported Sunday that at least four former Carolina Panthers employees have received “significant” monetary settlements as a result of inappropriate workplace comments and conduct by Richardson. “Sexually suggestive language and behavior, and on at least one occasion directing a racial slur at an African-American Panthers scout,” was included in the Sports Illustrated report.

The Panthers played their first season in 1995. Richardson and his ownership group paid $206 million in 1993, with Richardson owning 48 percent of the team. The Panthers are the 21st most valuable team of the 32 NFL franchises at $2.3 billion, according to Forbes.

Richardson has an estimated net worth over $1.1 billion.

Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson announced Sunday he would be selling the franchise at the end of this season.

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