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DEBARTOLO DEAL WOULD PUT TEAM IN TRUST IF HE IS INDICTED
Published March 27, 1998
49ers co-Owner Eddie DeBartolo "is about to make a formal offer to buy his sister's share of the 49ers -- and is looking" to Bill Walsh to run the team, according to Matier & Ross of the S.F. CHRONICLE. A source said the offer contains a provision that if DeBartolo "is indicted and convicted" in LA over questions of how he secured a gaming licence, the team would be placed in a family trust. Matier & Ross: "Walsh's possible re-emergence could lead to a major shakeup in the 49ers' organization -- at the expense of team President Carmen Policy, whom most insiders credit with the team's success." One source said the buyout deal "has the tentative blessing" of Denise DeBartolo York and the offer could be forwarded to the league as early as next week. But a league source told Matier & Ross that the NFL "is likely to 'freeze' the current management structure -- keeping Policy in place -- 'until Eddie's indictment goes away.'" While DeBartolo thinks "prosecutors don't have a case against him," sources in LA "are predicting" that he will be indicted, "possibly by late May" (CHRONICLE, 3/27). THE GROWING DISTANCE BETWEEN FRIENDS: 49ers President Carmen Policy said that his relationship with DeBartolo has been "severed." Policy: "I have distanced myself significantly from Eddie during this period. And I've basically distanced myself on a personal level from Denise. ... I've backed way off on my personal relationship with both of them" (Chadiha & Finnie, S.F. EXAMINER, 3/26).