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Report: Mickey Loomis to help run NBA's New Orleans Hornets

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer
Loomis now will help run the New Orleans' NBA franchise. (Getty Images)
Solving the all-important question of what Saints general manager Mickey Loomis is going to do when he's suspended for the first eight games of the 2012 season, team owner Tom Benson apparently has given Loomis a nice parting gift.

Instead of running the New Orleans football franchise, the New Orleans Times Picayune writes Loomis is going to help run the Benson-owned New Orleans basketball franchise (recently purchased by Benson for $338 million).

Putting all the possible jokes aside -- for instance, how much tougher is it going to be to run a bounty program when there are only five guys playing at one time? -- isn't this sort of like watching your son wreck your Maserati only to lend him the BMW while the car he totaled is in the shop?

"We've got a good team going, we really do," Benson told the paper, which also writes that Benson is promoting Dennis Lauscha to team president (the role of Lauscha, who was the Saints executive vice president and chief financial officer, will now expand in the Saints organization).

And while the promotion of Lauscha was the main point of the article, the Loomis news was certainly interesting. As was the future of Rita Benson LeBlanc, Benson's granddaughter who had been considered the heir apparent.

You might recall about a month ago when Benson apparently put the 35-year-old LeBlanc on unofficial paid administration leave because her pattern of behavior needed to be corrected.

As the T-P wrote last month, “Colleagues and co-workers are quick to compliment LeBlanc for her intelligence, creativity, energy and good taste. However, they're also just as quick to note her lack of focus and abrasive management style, citing the estimated 30 assistants she's gone through in her six-year tenure. She's developed a reputation for stalling projects internally, at Benson Tower and the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Her penchant for drivers and world travel has irked colleagues and caused some to question her commitment to the job.”

Now, though, all is well in New Orleans. Apparently. Check out this beauty of a comment from Benson, who has since welcomed his granddaughter back to work.

"You know, Rita took a couple months vacation there, and people got the wrong impression," Benson said. "We're not reducing her in any kind of way. You're looking at the whole organization, and you can see she's right there.

"And as we've taken on some of these outside activities, I told Rita I want her to get more involved in them, even if it took away some time here (with the Saints), and leaning on Dennis a little more."

Man, it's a good thing she's back from her vacation. Otherwise, Lauscha might have taken over her role as heir apparent.

And while I'm being snarky about this entire story, I do have one legitimate question regarding Benson's decision to move Loomis to the NBA side.

How's Jonathan Vilma's mid-ranger jumper anyway?

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, and subscribe to our Pick-6 Podcast and NFL newsletter. You can follow Josh Katzowitz on Twitter here: @joshkatzowitz.
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