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C-U businessman Khan buying Jacksonville Jaguars

C-U businessman Khan buying Jacksonville Jaguars

Tue, 11/29/2011 – 1:59pm | The Associated Press

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Jacksonville Jaguars have reached an agreement to sell the small-market franchise to a Champaign-Urbana businessman Shahid Khan.

Majority owner Wayne Weaver made the announcement Tuesday, hours after he fired coach Jack Del Rio and gave general manager Gene Smith a three-year contract extension. He said Khan will have 100 percent control of the team.

Weaver called Khan “a great American success story” and said the Pakistan-born entrepreneur will keep the team in Jacksonville.

Khan is the owner and CEO of the Flex-N-Gate Group based in Urbana. Khan, a prominent donor to University of Illinois athletics, had been a candidate to buy controlling interest in the St. Louis Rams last year.

The sale of the franchise and the firing of Del Rio are the NFL city’s most significant news since the team’s inception in 1993.