Ravens hire Cass, extend deal with McDaniel

OWINGS MILLS -- Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti officially named lawyer Dick Cass on Tuesday as team president, replacing outgoing president David Modell.<br><br> The team also extended its partnership through 2010 with McDaniel College to hold training camp in Westminster at the campus of the private, liberal arts school.<br>

Cass is a veteran Washington corporate lawyer who was the chairman of the business transactions section of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering. He helped broker the sale of the Ravens to Bisciotti.

"Dick has had involvement with every aspect of an NFL team, outside of coaching and scouting," Bisciotti said. "His legal expertise, his working knowledge of the business, his relationships at the league office and the respect he has already earned around the league, will be a significant asset for the franchise."

Cass has an extensive background in the NFL, representing Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones in his acquisition of the team and Texas Stadium as well as in litigation against the NFL. Cass was later retained by the NFL to advise them on the collective bargaining agreement.

"This is a tremendous opportunity for me," Cass said. "I've known and worked with Steve for the last four years. He'll be a good owner and provide us with the leadership and means to succeed.

"I've been very impressed with the Ravens. Ozzie [Newsome] and Brian [Billick] are outstanding. Overall, this is a great organization with a lot of quality people."

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Princeton University and Yale Law School, Cass represented the Jack Kent Cooke estate in the sale of the Washington Redskins to Daniel Snyder. Cass has also represented the Independent Commission of the U.S. Olympic Committee, the Charlotte Hornets, Toronto Raptors, Toronto Maple Leafs, Walt Disney Company and the Bayer Corporation.

"Dick is uniquely qualified for this position," Jones said. "He is extremely bright and has a thorough knowledge of the daily operation of a team and the league office. He and Steve will make a dynamic leadership tandem in Baltimore that will ultimately benefit the NFL. I have worked closely with Dick on a variety of NFL matters for the past 15 years and have the utmost respect for his ability to see the big picture and his skill in managing people."

Modell will remain with the team as a consultant for two years following his father, Art Modell, selling the team to Bisciotti last week and retaining a 1-percent ownership share.

Meanwhile, the team announced a six-year extension of its agreement to hold training camps at Westminster's McDaniel College through 2010.

The contract includes the installation of synthetic turf on the college's main athletic field with the team and the private, liberal arts school splitting the cost.

"I think it's very important that you establish a camp away from your regular training facility and this is a perfect location for us because it is a camp mentality and we do feel special up there," Ravens coach Brian Billick said. "More and more clubs are going back to their facilities for training camp, and I will always advocate that we keep this relationship for as long as we can.

"I let the veterans go home for most of the camp, so the proximity allows us to do that. You're always going to sleep better at home in your own bed, and I think that's an important byproduct."

Formerly known as Western Maryland College, where the Baltimore Colts trained from 1953 to 1971, the college will host the Ravens beginning July 29 when players report.

"I came here as a kid watching the Colts practice," Bisciotti said. "I have pictures of my brother and sister with a variety of players, including one of me wearing Johnny Unitas' helmet. I even remember what I ate and drank at camp – waffle ice cream sandwiches and lemonade." 

Aaron Wilson writes for the Carroll County Times.

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