Jerry Richardson’s name will stay on the UNC Charlotte football stadium where the 49ers play.
UNCC Chancellor Philip Dubois confirmed Thursday that the university’s board of trustees will honor the naming rights agreement with Richardson, according to spokesman Stephen Ward.
The 2013 contract between Richardson and the university is worth $10 million, the Observer has reported.
Earlier this summer, the NFL fined Richardson, the Panthers former owner, a league-record $2.75 million after independent investigator Mary Jo White found nothing to discredit the claims of former Panthers employees alleging racial and sexual misconduct by the team founder.
Under the UNCC contract’s terms, Richardson agreed to make a $10 million donation, payable in 10 annual increments of $1 million from 2013 through 2022, the Observer has reported. If Richardson, 82, dies before the donation is fully paid, the unpaid amounts would come from Richardson’s estate.
The stadium name and McColl-Richardson Field name “will be used as primary identifiers in perpetuity for the life of the football complex including any expansions and additions to the complex,” the contract between UNCC and Richardson states. The contract has no morals clause.
At Bank of America Stadium, the 13-foot statue of Richardson isn’t going anywhere. New Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper, who bought the team from Richardson this summer for $2.275 billion, said he is “contractually obligated” to keep the statue.
Richardson’s name or image can also be found in other parts of Charlotte and in Spartanburg, S.C., at his alma mater Wofford College. He graduated from the private school in 1959, played football for the school and served three terms on the board of trustees.
Wofford has an indoor stadium named for Richardson, which opened in 2017 and seats 3,400.
The college also hosts the Panthers’ annual training camp. And a statue of Richardson was installed on a patio in a physical activities building that also was named after him.
“Wofford College’s physical campus, as well as the lives and futures of its students, faculty and staff, have been indelibly transformed by the generosity of Mr. Richardson,” Wofford spokeswoman Laura Corbin said shortly after the NFL’s investigation concluded. “Beyond that, we have no further comment.”
The Charlotte Regional Partnership issues annual “Jerry Awards” named after both Richardson and former Charlotte aviation director Jerry Orr.
“At this time, the Partnership has not made any decision” about changing the name of the awards, spokeswoman Dianne Chase said Thursday.