Another Tepper Sports executive resigns

Another Tepper Sports executive resigns

They didn’t get much of their new facility completed before pulling the plug. Apparently, they managed to install a revolving door.

Tepper Sports COO Mark Hart has resigned, per multiple reports. No reason was given for the move.

Panthers owner David Tepper hired Hart as V.P. of development from the Steelers when Tepper bought the franchise in 2018.

Hart is the latest in a string of employees of Tepper Sports to leave the organization. CEO Nick Kelly left in May.

The departures come in the aftermath of the failed effort to build a new headquarters and practice facility in Rock Hill, South Carolina. The abandoned project already has sparked multiple pieces of litigation.

The off-field turmoil in the organization meshes with the team’s on-field struggles. Tepper has tried to buy his way into contention, spending big on head coach Matt Rhule, who enters 2022 on the hot seat (even if Tepper won’t admit it). Tepper also has pinballed his way through a variety of quarterbacks in search of a franchise player who will elevate the team to perennial playoff qualifier. Since 2020, the team has tried (and failed) to make it work with Teddy Bridgewater, Sam Darnold, and Cam Newton. Recently, the Panthers traded for Baker Mayfield, a buy-low proposition that Tepper hopes will cause the team to soar into one of the seven postseason berths in the NFC.

His experience through nearly five years as an NFL owner underscores the reality that no amount of success in the line of work that positions someone to buy an NFL team guarantees success. Financially, the Panthers will print as much cash as every other franchise. Competitively, Tepper’s team continues to be an also-ran. The natural frustration for a multi-billionaire who has previously seen everything he touch turn to gold but who now can’t splurge his way to the top of the standings may be the common denominator in so many employees being run off.

And introducing black helmets will do only so much to distract the fans from these realities.