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Volume 26 No. 178
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NFL Begins Arbitration Of Dispute Over Broncos' Succession Plan

The NFL has "begun arbitration between the trustees running the Broncos" and team Owner Pat Bowlen's two oldest daughters, Beth Bowlen Wallace and Amie Klemmer, according to Nicki Jhabvala of THE ATHLETIC. Former 49ers and Browns President & CEO Carmen Policy was designated by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell as the arbitrator, the "first time he's acted in this capacity." Goodell said, "They've actually been at it for 30 or 45 days at this stage. So we'll leave it in the hands of that process until it comes to a conclusion." A source said that Wallace and Klemmer "filed a motion to dismiss arbitration and have not agreed to the process." However, the league's involvement "could potentially send the multi-pronged dispute with the Broncos on a dual track: in the courts for Bill Bowlen's lawsuit and allegations against the trustees, and in the hands of the NFL for issues surrounding the succession plan of the team." A source "expected that if arbitration proceeds, a conclusion could be reached by the end of the year." Although Broncos President & CEO Joe Ellis "warned they are not 'anointing' any of Pat's children as his successor," Brittany Bowlen "appears to be the top candidate in the eyes of the trustees." Brittany is "expected to rejoin the franchise in a 'senior management position' within a year" and she will "work across multiple departments" (THEATHLETIC.com, 3/26).

TRYING TO REACH A CONCLUSION: In Denver, Ryan O'Halloran reports it is "believed what is being arbitrated is the succession of the team and the trustees' approach to selecting a new controlling owner." When the trustees "requested arbitration" in November '18, they "wanted five points confirmed by the NFL, all of which are related to the succession plan." In their response, Bowlen Wallace and Klemmer said that if arbitration began, Goodell could "not serve as the arbitrator" (DENVER POST, 3/27).