Browns owner Jimmy Haslam plans to sell minor league baseball team

David Richard-US PRESSWIRE

Jimmy Haslam says he won't have to sell the Browns due to a corporate scandal, but he did have to sell the Tennessee Smokies, a minor league baseball team in his hometown he's owned for 12 years.

A day after Jimmy Haslam insisted he wouldn't need to sell the Cleveland Browns, word is out that the Pilot Flying J truck stop CEO will be selling a minor league baseball team he also owns, the Tennessee Smokies, per the Knoxville News Sentinel.

Pilot has come under federal investigation for fraud and faulty business practices, leading to scandal and speculation that Haslam would need to put the Browns back on the market. But he said there was no worry, and that he'd be holding onto the Browns. It's awfully coincidental that just a day later, he's reported as selling his other sports property. Haslam said that the sale of the Smokies is not related to the Pilot investigation, and that he now needs to spend more time dealing with the Browns.

More Browns coverage available at: Dawgs by Nature

The Smokies, a Double-A affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, are based in Haslam's hometown of Knoxville, Tenn., and don't represent nearly the financial interest the Browns do. Haslam bought the Browns for $1 billion last year, whereas he bought the Smokies for just $7.5 million in 2002.

Pilot, founded in 1958 by Haslam's father, started as a single truck stop and turned into a multi-billion dollar corporation, allowing Haslam to buy the Browns and his brother to fund a successful bid to become governor of Tennessee. But allegations that they were defrauding customers by skimming money off rebates could spell serious trouble, although Haslam repeats that it won't affect football.

More from SB Nation:

The complete timeline of the Hernandez case

Adrian Peterson is the best player in the NFL

Cowboys player back in jail

Could Hard Knocks be on the move?

Power rankings: Raiders are last

Latest News

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.


You must be a member of to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at You should read them.


You must be a member of to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.