One Rooney brother not ready to decide Steelers sale
Thursday, September 18, 2008
By Ed Bouchette and Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
One Rooney brother told the Post-Gazette today that he wants to delay deciding on offers for their shares in the Steelers franchise until at least next week.
"I am not going to vote today,'' Art Rooney Jr. said early this afternoon. "I think we've come a long way on this thing. I'm not interested in putting this off, but I think at the appropriate time we should hear all this stuff today and let's think about it over the weekend and come back and decide which direction we should go."
Art Jr. and three of his brothers, Tim, Pat and John, have a conference call scheduled late this afternoon to discuss the two offers for their shares in the franchise, which combined total 64 percent. They have one offer from their brother Dan and his son Art II and another from billionaire Stanley Druckenmiller.
Druckenmiller has told them he wants to have a decision by tomorrow, although it's believed he might give them more time if they are moving closer to a decision.
"The deadline doesn't mean too much to me with all due respects to Mr. Druckenmiller,'' Art Rooney Jr. told the Post-Gazette. "I just want to do things that are right for my family and the Steelers too, not because there's a deadline. If you're going to do things, you want to do it when it's right, not because of a deadline.
"This is the time when we've collected all the information and we're going to hear it and discuss it. Personally, I don't care to make a decision. I want to talk to my own people, my sons and lawyer friends and others I trust."
Art Rooney Jr. did say, though, that the time is near for him and his three brothers to decide. The NFL started the process when it told the Rooneys they could not own racetrack/casinos and still be involved in ownership of the Steelers, and that they also must abide by league rules and have at least one owner with 30 percent stock in the team. Each of the five Rooney brothers, including Dan, owns 16 percent of the team. The other 20 percent is owned by members of Pittsburgh's McGinley family.
"You get to a point where you have to make a decision in your life and we're there right now,'' Art Rooney Jr. said. "It came about because of the NFL and its rules on gambling, which are very appropriate, and the other technical thing about their ownership deal.
"We've had a situation put on us by the league . . . I think we're getting close to the time where we have to make a decision."
The Post-Gazette reported today that the brothers might accept neither offer and seek other, higher bids at a later time.
"I don't see that immediately. I, Art Rooney Jr., don't see that right now. We only have two people involved in this. We didn't want to make a circus about it.
"Mr. Druckenmiller, he's probably getting tired of it, too, but we have to do it at the appropriate time. We're kind of there, we have all the information from the people involved and the NFL. You can't wait forever, you have to make a decision.
"I don't see it this weekend, but I see it in the very, very near future."
First published on September 18, 2008 at 2:45 pm