Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Strunk's absence from owners meeting is inexplicable

Unless the Tennessee Titans hire Ozzie Newsome as general manager and Bill Belichick as head coach by the end of the week, Amy Adams Strunk has some explaining to do.

Strunk, the alleged controlling owner of the Titans, did not attend Tuesday's session of the NFL owners meetings. Never mind that the meetings are being held in Houston, and Strunk lives in the Houston suburb of Waller.

I guess her chauffeur had a hang nail and couldn't drive.

The explanation given ESPN by Titans spokesman Jimmy Stanton is that Strunk "is focused on our G.M. and head coach search."

Stanton pointed out that Steve Underwood, the team's president/CEO, has focused on the situation in Los Angeles and is "keeping Amy informed."

OK, the big order of the day on Tuesday was the relocation of at least one NFL team to Los Angeles. Underwood certainly has a better feel for the ramifications of relocation than Strunk since he was in the middle of the then-Houston Oilers' relocation to Nashville.

But sometimes it's important for the controlling owner of a franchise to be at a meeting like this even if she is not well versed on the subject matter. This is one of those times.

It is no secret in league circles that other owners, and likely the commissioner's office, are less than happy with the current structure of the Titans' ownership group. Who can blame them? Since franchise founder Bud Adams' death, the ownership group has had trouble finding common ground. It is comprised of three entities: Bud's daughters, Susie Adams Smith and Strunk, and the three heirs of Bud's late son.

It's a mess. Susie Adams Smith originally was installed as controlling owner and her husband Tommy Smith served as president/CEO. But that changed early in 2015, with Smith resigning and Amy Adams Strunk replacing her sister as controlling owner.

Given such turmoil within the organization and with concerns around the league about whether the Titans' ownership structure complies with NFL bylaws, the organization needs to do whatever is necessary to show it is committed to doing business properly.

Having the controlling owner at the NFL owners meeting is the least the Titans could do.

Reach David Climer on Twitter @DavidClimer.

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