Accorsi elated to be added to city's NFL lobbying team

April 07, 1993|By John Steadman | John Steadman,Staff Writer

There's an immediate future for Ernie Accorsi in Baltimore's planning for an NFL expansion team. He will be appointed tomorrow as a special adviser to the Maryland Stadium Authority.

Accorsi, a one-time sportswriter for The Evening Sun and former general manager of the Baltimore Colts and Cleveland Browns, is elated with the opportunity.

"It will keep me busy until I decide what my

eventual course of action is going to be," he said.

This could mean if Baltimore is awarded one of two new NFL teams this fall that Accorsi will be under consideration for the general manager's position. However, he's not presumptuous enough to say it since that decision would be made by the team's ownership.

Since leaving the Browns last year, Accorsi has lived here, only 90 miles from his native Hershey, Pa., which makes it convenient for visiting with his 83-year-old widowed mother. He has co-hosted a pro football TV show with Tom

Davis on Channel 45 and a radio broadcast with Stan "The Fan" Charles on WCBM.

Herb Belgrad of the stadium authority, asked to outline Accorsi's responsibilities while Baltimore waits on NFL intentions, said he will advise on strategy decisions and "other things that will help us."

"Because of his long association with the league," Belgrad said, "he knows the right people to talk to in every organization. When he calls, he

See ACCORSI, 10D, Col. 5 ACCORSI, from 1D

will receive a warm response since Ernie has a personal rapport with all of them."

Accorsi has had a long and varied career in sports. He graduated from Wake Forest after going there on a golf scholarship and started his professional career as a sportswriter with The Charlotte News. After a stint in the service, he was a sportswriter with The Evening Sun before going to Philadelphia to become sports public relations director with St. Joseph's when flamboyant Jack Ramsay was basketball coach.

Accorsi then joined football coach Joe Paterno at Penn State as sports publicist before coming back to Baltimore in the same capacity with the Colts. He left the Colts to go with the NFL several years as a special assistant to commissioner Pete Rozelle, then returned to Baltimore as general manager. He resigned that post in 1984 and eventually wound up with the Browns.

The three groups vying for the franchise in Baltimore include Malcolm Glazer and sons Brian and Joel; Leonard "Boogie" Weinglass; and a combine of Tom Clancy, Jim Robinson and Ted Venetoulis.

Weinglass has a former Colt, Joe Washington, in his lineup of prospective owners. The Clancy-Robinson-Venetoulis group has Colt Hall of Famers John Unitas and John Mackey included in their alignment.

A news conference outlining the next phase in Baltimore's push for expansion is scheduled tomorrow.

The league's expansion committee will meet in Atlanta in late May and NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue, who has championed the cause for taking in new cities, promises a "decision this fall."

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