Donahoe Is Steelers’ Odd Man Out
Tom Donahoe, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ director of football operations, resigned under pressure Friday after the Steelers were forced to choose between keeping him or Coach Bill Cowher.
Donahoe, general manager except in name for the last 10 years, has had growing differences with Cowher over the years. He quit only two days after the Steelers announced Cowher was staying.
Neither Cowher nor Donahoe felt they could work together any longer, and each offered to resign. When the Steelers retained Cowher, Donahoe went ahead with the resignation he initially offered shortly after the season ended.
“We said in our discussions, this isn’t working, we’ve got to do something about it,” Steeler Vice President Art Rooney II said. “Both men said, ‘If I’m the problem, I’ll resign.’ . . . They both felt it was a problem, and the only solution was for one of them to leave, and in the end we felt that way too.”
Asked if the Steelers finally were forced to choose between the two, Rooney said, “In some ways, you could say we looked at it that way.”
Steeler President Dan Rooney tried to patch the relationship between Donahoe and Cowher after a 6-10 season, but became convinced early on there wasn’t a solution.
“We looked at shuffling some things around and bringing somebody else in to serve as a go-between, but we came to the conclusion that was putting a Band-Aid on something we felt wouldn’t work,” Art Rooney II said. “So we felt we had to go in this direction.”
Rae Carruth wants to give $3,000 a month to support his infant son, but he has little money available because his assets are frozen.
The former Carolina Panther wide receiver is accused of conspiring to kill his son’s mother in a drive-by shooting in November. The mother, Cherica Adams, gave birth to Chancellor Lee Adams prematurely.
Adams died Dec. 14, but the infant was later released from the hospital. DNA tests showed Carruth to be the child’s father. Adams’ mother, Saundra Adams, has temporary custody of the child.
Mecklenburg District Court Judge Yvonne Mims Evans, who is handling the case, last month unfroze $35,000 of Carruth’s money so he could pay for legal fees and expenses.
Appearing at the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow/Push Wall Street Project in New York, NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue and NBA Commissioner David Stern participated in a panel discussing minority jobs in sports.
Jackson had complained when Ray Rhodes, a black, was fired after one season as coach in Green Bay. The dismissal left the NFL with only two black head coaches.
Jackson’s group initially said Rhodes was not held to the same standards as a white coach. But the group has since come to an understanding with the Packers over the firing.
Jackson did not mention Rhodes on Friday but talked about creating an even playing field where it is “10 yards for everybody, 100 yards for everybody.”
Then he asked the panelists to discuss the future.
“Brother David, brother Paul,” he said, “what can we do today together? Where are we going from here?”
Said Stern: “The opportunities for employment in sports will explode in the digital age. It will be a tsunami of opportunities. Send us your resumes. My address is 645 Fifth Avenue.”
Tagliabue stopped short of offering the NFL’s address but agreed with Stern.
“Sports in the 21st century mirrors three trends in society--population growth, increased minority population and an America whose economic engine is driven by technology,” the NFL boss said.
The NFL has concluded its hearing on the status of Bill Belichick, with a decision expected next week. Belichick resigned one day after being named to succeed Bill Parcell as coach of the New York Jets. . . . The San Francisco 49ers fired defensive backs coach Greg Brown.
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* Tennessee 22: Buffalo 16
* Washington 27: Detroit 13
* Minnesota 27: Dallas 10
* Miami 20: Seattle 17
* Miami at Jacksonville: 9:30 a.m. (Ch. 2)
* Washington at Tampa Bay: 1:15 p.m. (Ch. 11)
* Minnesota at St. Louis: 9:30 a.m. (Ch. 11)
* Tennessee at Indianapolis: 1 p.m. (Ch. 2)
* AFC championship: TBA (Ch. 2)
* NFC championship: TBA (Ch. 11)
* Atlanta: 3:18 p.m. (Ch. 7)