Carolina Panthers

Jerry Richardson’s name is still on UNCC’s stadium. A resolution sought to change that.

tsumlin@charlotteobserver.com

Clarification: This story has been updated to reflect the resolution failed in a vote Thursday, but could be discussed again in the future.

A resolution seeking to ask the board of trustees at UNC Charlotte to reconsider a decision to keep former Panthers owner Jerry Richardson’s name on the school’s football stadium failed.

The school’s Student Government Association weighed a resolution that would’ve called on the board to reconsider their decision with outside input. That resolution failed in a vote in the student senate Thursday, according to a university spokesperson.

On Aug. 14, the board of trustees decided to honor a $10 million naming rights contract from 2013 that keeps Richardson’s name on the stadium.

Under the contract, Richardson agreed to make a $10 million donation to the school. The donation was payable in annual increments of $1 million through 2022, the Observer previously reported.

The board’s decision to honor the agreement came in the wake of the NFL imposing a $2.75 million fine on Richardson in June after a months-long investigation into allegations of racial and sexual workplace misconduct. The lead investigator found nothing to discredit the allegations against Richardson after they surfaced in December.

In the failed resolution, the senate would’ve called on the board to hold public and open meetings to gain input on the issue from people within the university community.

“After a point of information and points of inquiry, the decision was to bring the Resolution back at another time when Senate as a whole could talk about it clearly,” a statement from the Student Government Association read. “Our senators wanted more information before enacting the entire Resolution upon the student body.”

Details weren’t available on when the resolution could return.

Richardson’s name and likeness appear in other places throughout Charlotte in addition to the Jerry Richardson Stadium.

The fate of the 13-foot statue of Richardson outside Bank of America Stadium was weighed following the allegations. New owner David Tepper put the debate to rest in July when he said he was “contractually obligated” to keep the statue outside of the stadium.

A statue of Richardson, as well as an indoor stadium and physical activities building named after him, can be found at Wofford College, his alma mater. A spokeswoman from the college in Spartanburg, S.C., declined to comment on the status of the buildings and statue following the NFL’s investigation.

The Charlotte Regional Partnership has annual “Jerry Awards” named after Richardson and Jerry Orr, a former Charlotte aviation director. A decision has not been made about changing the name of the awards, a spokesperson from the partnership told the Observer earlier in August.

LaVendrick Smith: @LaVendrickS
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