Byline: Associated Press
Robert Tisch, the former Postmaster General who for years has been trying to buy a National Football League team, agreed Wednesday to purchase 50 percent of the Super Bowl champion New York Giants.
The surprise announcement by the NFL said Tisch, brother of CBS president Laurence Tisch, bought the 50 percent share of the team owned by Mrs. Helen Mara Nugent, her son, Tim, and daughter, Maura Mara Concannon.
The transaction is subject to NFL approval. No purchase price was announced, but the last NFL team that was sold, the Dallas Cowboys, went to Jerry Jones for $150 million.
Robert Tisch, president of the Loews Corp., a financial enterprise with assets exceeding $34.7 billion, previously was interested in purchasing the Cowboys and New England Patriots.
There was no indication whether Tim Mara, listed in the 1990 media guide as the Giants' owner-vice president-treasurer, would remain with the club. He has feuded for years with his uncle, Wellington, the team's president-owner who owns the other 50 percent of the team.
General manager George Young does not believe Tim Mara will continue with the team, buts sees no other major changes.
'It is my understanding that the day-to-day operation of the team hasn't changed,' Young said. 'That's been my understanding from Day One.'
Young said the status of coach Bill Parcells, under whom the Giants won the Super Bowl this year and in 1986, also is unchanged. Parcells has a year remaining on his contract.
'I have something to do with that,' said Young, who has run the football operation since 1979.
The sale coincided with an announcement by the Giants of changes in the coaching staff. Included was the promotion of offensive coordinator Ron Erhardt to assistant head coach.
Running backs coach Ray Handley becomes offensive coordinator. Defensive assistant Al Groh takes over as defensive coordinator, replacing Bill Belichick, who last month became head coach of the Cleveland Browns.
Erhardt was moved to assistant head coach to make room for Handley, who had announced he intended to leave the team to attend law school. Sources close to the Giants say Handley is being groomed to replace Parcells some day and the move was being made to keep him with the team.
The Giants also added two new coaches: former Utah head coach Jim Fassel becomes quarterbacks coach and Fred Bruney comes from Tampa Bay to coach the secondary.
Parcells said he would have an announcement, probably Friday, about a receivers coach to replace Tom Coughlin, who took the head coaching job at Boston College.
'I wanted to make some alterations here because I felt it was in the best long-term interests,' Parcells said. 'I wanted to keep as many as the guys who I thought could help us win, and I felt this was the best way to do that.'
The Giants, who defeated the Buffalo Bills 20-19 in last month's Super Bowl, were purchased by Tim Mara, father of Wellington and Jack, in 1925, for $500.
The Super Bowl victory was the sixth NFL title in franchise history. The other titles came in 1927, 1934, 1938, 1956 and 1986.
The NFL said the 65-year-old Tisch will retain the stock independently of his numerous corporate holdings. Loews Corp., owns 22.9 percent of the common stock of CBS Inc., which has NFL broadcast rights to NFC games. The league has a rule prohibiting corporate ownership of franchises.
Tisch was Postmaster General from 1986-88.