An FBI affidavit revealed that Haslam had knowledge of Pilot employees withholding fuel rebates and discounts from truck stop customers in order to boost profits. The source tells Tony Grossi that the NFL may ask Haslam to remove himself from operational control of the Browns:
"They can force him, probably, to transfer his interests to another entity within the family, where he may still have equity holdings but absolutely no involvement in operations," the source said. "They can remove him from having front-and-center involvement."
Haslam is currently at the Browns' training facilities preparing for the NFL Draft. He has denied involvement in the scheme and pledged to cooperate with the investigation. The source believes that the NFL could suspend him until the investigation is complete if he declines to step down.
There is precedent here. Paul Tagliabue suspended former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. for the entire 1999 season and fined him $1 million for his involvement in an extortion plot. He later sold the team to his sister.
The league has declined to comment at this moment.
UPDATE: The NFL has since issued a statement that it has no plans to ask Haslam to step away from the Browns during the investigation.
NFL spokesman said there are no plans for league to ask Jimmy Haslam to step away from #Browns while Pilot Flying J investigation plays out.— Scott Petrak ct (@ScottPetrak) April 19, 2013