Boogie's ad catches Modell's eye, but Browns' owner isn't buying PRO FOOTBALL

November 19, 1993|By John Steadman

Art Modell, owner of the Cleveland Browns and a member of the NFL expansion committee, criticized Leonard "Boogie" Weinglass for charges he made in an open letter to fans that ran as a full-page ad in The Sun and The Evening Sun on Wednesday.

Weinglass heads one of three ownership groups pursuing a team for Baltimore.

In the letter, Weinglass said he was "shocked and hurt" when Alfred Lerner applied to become the third ownership group on Monday and was endorsed by Gov. William Donald Schaefer. Lerner was chairman of the board of Maryland National Bank when it financed Weinglass' bid to own a team.

"A person who takes a deal to a bank should not have to worry about the bank or its officers competing with him," Weinglass said in the letter.

"I don't think Weinglass should have run that ad," said Modell, who is a friend and business partner of Lerner's.

"I was appalled. Al wouldn't need to have information on Weinglass' finances to determine any action he was interested in taking. Consider the immense position of respect Lerner enjoys. Weinglass was almost incoherent."

Lerner owns 5 percent of the Browns. "I know Al Lerner would be a good owner," Modell said. "I don't expect that if he got a franchise he would be involved in the daily operation. In my opinion, he'd hire the right people and let them run it."

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