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NFL isn't planning to ask Browns' Jimmy Haslam to step down

The NFL plans to allow the FBI and IRS investigations into the businesses run by new Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam to sort itself out before it decides whether it will take any action.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said a report that Haslam might be asked to step down as the investigation into Pilot Flying J continues is inaccurate.

"There are no such plans," Aiello said.

Haslam told the Associated Press on Friday that he will continue to run the Browns.

"No change," Haslam said. "I look forward to the draft next week."

Haslam said earlier Friday he won't resign from his position as CEO of Pilot Flying J.

"Why would I step down? I haven't done anything wrong," Haslam said Friday while speaking at his company's headquarters in Knoxville, Tenn. "It still appears to us that this investigation is focused on a very narrow band of a very large company -- questions about how rebates were handled to a very small percentage of our trucking company customers."

An FBI agent's affidavit, which was unsealed Thursday alleges that Pilot Flying J -- the truck stop operator owned by the Haslam family -- engaged in a fraud scheme designed to keep money owed to its customers.

According to the documents, multiple current and former employees of the company told authorities that Haslam, who purchased the Browns for $1.05 billion last October, knew of the fraud and was present at meetings where it was discussed. The NFL declined to comment on the matter.

Haslam released the following statement Thursday:

"I've read the affidavits. I now understand more clearly the questions the federal investigators are exploring. I maintain that the foundation of this company is built on its integrity and that any willful wrongdoing by any employee of this company at any time is intolerable. We will continue to cooperate with the federal investigation and continue our own investigation in these allegations. I value the relationships we have with our customers, our vendors and our team members across this country and regret that they have to go through this with us, but I trust and believe their faith in this company and its principles has never been misplaced."

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According to The Associated Press, Haslam arrived in Cleveland on Thursday, three days after FBI and IRS agents executed four search warrants at Pilot Flying J company headquarters.

The AP reported that at a Tuesday news conference in Knoxville, Haslam revealed the government is investigating rebates offered by the truck stop chain, but said, "We believe we did nothing wrong." His family -- including his brother, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam -- owns 59 percent of the business.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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