Trump pardons Notre Dame alumnus, 49ers owner
Observer Staff Report | Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Former San Francisco 49ers owner and Notre Dame alumnus Eddie DeBartolo Jr. was granted a full presidential pardon by President Donald Trump for a corruption charge, NBC News reported Tuesday.
The corruption case involved Edwin Edwards, the former governor of Louisiana. DeBartolo pleaded guilty for failing to report a felony when he paid Edwards $400,000 to help secure a casino license. He had to pay a $1 million fine and was given two years probation in exchange for his testimony against Edwards.
DeBartolo attended Notre Dame as an undergraduate. He is the son of Marie P. Debartolo and Edward J. DeBartolo Sr., in whose honor the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center and DeBartolo Hall were dedicated.
Following the charge, DeBartolo was banned from the NFL for a year and ceded control of 49ers to his sister in 2000. The 49ers won five Super Bowls in 14 seasons with DeBartolo as the team’s owner, and he was elected into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2016. The 49ers lost Super Bowl LIV to the Kansas City Chiefs earlier this month.
NBC reported former NFL players Jerry Rice, Charles Haley, Ronnie Lott and Jim Brown met with Trump to discuss DeBartolo’s situation. DeBartolo had previously been denied a presidential pardon by former president Barack Obama.
“Today is a great day for [DeBartolo],” Rice said in the story. “I’m glad to be here and be a part of that. And you know, it’s just something I’ll never forget. You know, this man, he has done so much in the community, he has done so much in NFL football.”