Other than the fact that former Pittsburgh Steelers Hall of Fame wide receiver John Stallworth is a member of the group, and film producer Thomas Tull remaining a part of it, I frankly have rarely had an interest or need in paying attention to who the minority owners of the team are.
There are rare instances in which it becomes relevant, of course. January’s report that a group of minority owners intended to voice their displeasure to Art Rooney II over the performance of Mike Tomlin certainly made waves, and continues to be brought up, even though Rooney himself denied having ever heard such a plea from his ownership group.
One other major event came several years ago now when former minority owner Jimmy Haslam purchased the Cleveland Browns and successfully ran a franchise already in the ground even deeper into the soil, now attempting to resurrect it. In fairness, there is literally nowhere to go but up from a winless season.
But Haslam may not be the only minority owner to become a former member of the Steelers’ ownership as he explores the opportunity to purchase a franchise of his own. “a high-ranking team executive [of the Carolina Panthers] who has kept tabs on this situation”, according to an NFL Network report, cites Pittsburgh minority owner David Tepper as a candidate to purchase the team.
“The name that keeps coming up here, that’s David Tepper”, the reporter said. “He is a very minority owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Kind of like Jimmy Haslam was, by the way. So if he were to go through and purchase the Panthers he would give up that minority stake in the Steelers”.
Another name to watch for the Panthers’ sale: hedge fund manager and Steelers minority owner David Tepper. pic.twitter.com/sRsAd81rHP
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) February 20, 2018
Tepper’s net worth is reportedly $11.7 billion, a fortune that he has made as a hedge fund manager, which is admittedly not the most popular profession. But gone are the days of sports teams being owned by sports people or families. The Rooney family is one of the few remaining as franchises continue to be purchased by wealthy business tycoons.
Tepper, 60, is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh as an undergraduate, attending Carnegie Mellon. A $67 million donation to the latter institution got the Tepper School of Business named after him.
According to his Wikipedia biography, he is among the country’s most successful hedge fund managers. He has owned a five-percent stake in the Steelers since 2009, which was the same time that Stallworth also joined the ownership ranks.
The Panthers have been thrust into a situation in which the organization has come up for sale after Jerry Richardson, who founded the franchise, was essentially forced to sell the franchise after accusations of sexual harassment and revealed monetary settlements came to light in December.