49ers icon Eddie Debartolo Jr. interested in buying Panthers: report

Long-time San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie Debartolo Jr. is reportedly interested in purchasing the Carolina Panthers.

Several media outlets reported Monday night that the former NFL franchise owner is exploring putting a group to make an offer to buy the Panthers.

Debartolo owned the 49ers from 1977-2000 before turning over control of the franchise to his sister, Denise York. The 49ers won five Super Bowls under Debartolo's ownership. 

Despite being inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame, Debartolo had to give up his ownership after some legal entanglements involving gambling.

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Panthers owner and founder Jerry Richardson announced plans to sell the team after the current season, the same day an explosive Sports Illustrated report detailed allegations of workplace misconduct against Richardson. 

On Monday, Richardson stepped aside from day-to-day management of the Panthers organization pending the NFL investigation into the allegations. The Panthers named Tina Becker Chief Operating Officer

Debartolo said he would respect Richardson's request to hold off inquires until after the current NFL season.