Posted by ESPN.com’s Pat Yasinskas
We have a policy of staying clear of rumors and speculation here and that’s why we stayed clear of things this morning when a Tampa radio broadcaster said the Glazer family, which owns the Buccaneers, “could’’ be forced to sell the team because of money lost in investments with Bernie Madoff.
But policy changed once the Bucs responded by sending out a very strong statement saying the team is not for sale. Sorry I wasn’t able to post something on this when the Bucs sent out the press release this afternoon, but I had prior commitments to speak to a class at Saint Leo University and make an appearance on Blogger’s Blitz on ESPNEWS.
Now, I’ll bring you up to speed on the verbal battle in Tampa Bay. The Bucs issued the following statement, attributed to co-chairman Joel Glazer on Thursday afternoon:
“The report today by WDAE’s Dan Sileo about our family and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is 100 percent false. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are not, nor have they ever been for sale. In addition, our family or any of our related companies have never invested one penny with Bernie Madoff. The report is baseless, irresponsible and slanderous. This type of behavior by Mr. Sileo and his company Clear Channel will be dealt with in the appropriate manner.”
Wow, that’s pretty strong wording for a press release by an NFL team. I’ve seen several thousand through the years and have never seen anything this strong or confrontational out of the Bucs. They got personal in a way that usually is done only by the Raiders.
The St. Petersburg Times now reports that Sileo has been suspended by the station.
I’ll leave it up to you to form your own opinion on this one, but I’d be wrong if I didn’t point out there have been rumors about the Glazers selling the team for years. But there never have been any substantiated reports to go along with that.
One other thing, and I’m no expert on business, but why do some think the Glazers are looking to sell at this point? I’ve heard the basic principle in real estate that you can increase your marketability and price tag by sprucing up your property. The Bucs have been gutted by a rebuilding mode in the last few months. That sounds a lot like ruining your house before you try to sell it. Wouldn’t this franchise be a lot more attractive and be worth a lot more with Jon Gruden still coaching and Derrick Brooks still playing?