September 2, 2009

Richardson brothers resign from Panthers

Management style clashes led Jon and Mark Richardson, sons of Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, to resign from the NFL organization, sources say.

The team moved to fill the management void by naming Danny Morrison its president Wednesday.

The Richardson brothers will, however, continue to be members of the Panthers Partnership Group.

Jon, 50, had been president of Bank of America Stadium, Carolina's home stadium since it opened in 1996, and Mark, 49, had been team president since Mike McCormack retired in 1998.

In statements issued by the team, Mark Richardson referred to the great opportunity he had to work with a franchise from the start and have a chance to see it mature.

Jerry Richardson said his sons both made great contributions to the stadium and team that have enabled us to enjoy much success over the last 15 years.

While the team gave no clue why the brothers were leaving, sources told The Charlotte Observer sibling disputes led to their departure. The unnamed sources said the Richardsons took different approaches to running the team, leading their father, who had a heart transplant in February, to decide it was best they both go.

Jon Richardson wouldn't discuss the situation with the newspaper.

I love my mom and dad, I love my brother and I wish the organization the best, he told the Observer.

The brothers were equals in the club's management hierarchy with different areas of responsibility, the newspaper said. Jon was known for a more informal style, while Mark preferred a more corporate appearance.

Morrison spent the past four years as director of athletics for Texas Christian University. He previously worked at Wofford College, Jerry Richardson's alma mater.

Leaving is not easy, but working with Jerry Richardson and the Carolina Panthers is a tremendous opportunity, ESPN quoted Morrison as saying.