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UNCC trustees will keep former Panthers owner Richardson’s name on football stadium

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Here are the recommended NFL workplace policy changes made after a months-long investigation substantiated claims of sexual and racial misconduct by Carolina Panthers founder Jerry Richardson.

UNC Charlotte trustees won’t change their decision last year to keep the name of former Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson on its football stadium.

UNCC’s Student Senate passed a resolution this month asking the board and administrators to reconsider that decision in light of the NFL’s $2.75 million fine of Richardson after former Panthers employees accused him of racial and sexual misconduct.

At a meeting Tuesday, trustees “determined that no information has come to light that was not previously taken into account. Therefore, the board will not reconsider its decision to honor the stadium naming agreement,” UNCC spokeswoman Buffie Stephens said by email.

UNCC is under a 10-year naming rights agreement with Richardson that’s worth $10 million to the school through 2022.

In a message to students last week, Senate Speaker Matthew Basel wrote that “Jerry Richardson’s previous actions with his staff poorly reflects the ideology of inclusiveness that has made this institution so great and home to so many people of different walks of life.” Accountability should be applied not only to students and staff, he added, but “also those that have their names attached to our institution.”

Richardson’s alma mater, Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C., has an indoor stadium named for Richardson that opened in 2017.

Hedge fund billionaire David Tepper bought the Panthers for $2.275 billion last July, three months after the allegations against Richardson were first reported by Sports Illustrated. Tepper has said he is “contractually obligated” to keep a 13-foot stadium of Richardson outside Bank of America Stadium.

Bruce Henderson writes about transportation, emerging issues and interesting people for The Charlotte Observer. His reporting background is in covering energy, environment and state news.

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