Saints Owner Tom Benson Buys Hornets – Should New Orleans Sports Fans Be Concerned About Conflict Of Interest?
It was announced this morning that New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson will be purchasing the NBA’s New Orleans Hornets.
The official price tag: $338 million
NBA Commissioner Stern announced the deal today in Manhattan.
Isn’t this a conflict of interest?
Saints owner Tom Benson bought the New Orleans Hornets. Should Saints fans be concerned about his divided attention? (Photo by By Andricka Hammonds via Wikimedia Commons)
According to USA Today:
“Our cross-ownership policy permits the controlling owner of an NFL team to own a team in the NBA, MLB, or NHL in his or her own NFL market. So there is no cross-ownership issue here,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said in an email to USA TODAY Sports.
The NBA has no rule preventing individuals from owning teams in different leagues. However, the NFL has rules in place preventing owners from owning an NFL franchise in one city and another major pro sports franchise in another city.
The Hornets were previously owned by the league itself. (Yeah, don’t ask me how that works, I still don’t know)
While the NBA is stoked about this deal, I’m an NFL guy.
Many people think this deal came at a good time for Benson, who is currently trying to deflect as much negative attention as possible away from the Saints due to the BountyGate uproar.
As an NFL guy, I think he should be focusing on the Saints first and foremost. I don’t want a guy running my team if my team isn’t top of the priority list.
With everything going on with his Saints this offseason, and the spotlight that will be on that franchise during this upcoming season, it would seem Benson wouldn’t have enough time to manage one team, let alone two.
I know the NBA and NFL seasons aren’t exactly parallel, but I would think offseason duties for an owner would be demanding as well.
Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Saints fans really shouldn’t care or don’t care that in the midst of all the turmoil, Benson thinks it’s a good time to acquire another franchise.
I suppose a guy worth $1.1 billion dollars probably has more sense than me.
One thing is for certain: if you are a fan of any New Orleans sports team, you are going to have to embrace Tom Benson.
I think most of New Orleans already does.
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