Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam made Cleveland Browns fans a bit nervous Monday when he announced that he was going to resume his role as CEO of his Pilot J company. Perhaps the uproar was less about Haslam splitting his attention between his truck-stop business and his football team and more about how he said it. Haslam told the Knoxville News Sentinel, "this is about me realizing my first love is running Pilot J and wanting to return to that job."
Haslam tried to smooth things over with the Browns' fan base Tuesday by saying he would spend no less time with the Browns, despite his added workload, according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. He also stressed that he'll still be one of the team's four decision-makers, along with CEO Joe Banner, coach Rob Chudzinski, and Vice President-Player Personnel Mike Lombardi.
"I know people always ask who has the final say, and this is going to be a collaborative effort just like we've described before," he noted.
The truth is that many teams are far more successful when their owners are only lightly involved anyway, so it's debatable whether the fans really want Haslam heavily involved in all roster decisions. The dedication most fans want from the owner of their home team is putting quality people in the front office and coaching staff and being financially committed to improving the team.