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Chargers owner denies being set on end-of-season firings

Dean Spanos calls 'pure speculation' a report that he has decided to fire Coach Norv Turner and General Manager A.J. Smith at end of year. He will make evaluations at that time, he says.

December 06, 2012|By Sam Farmer
  • Dean Spanos, chairman and president of the Chargers, talks with Broncos owner Pat Bowlen, right, during a visit to Denver last month.
Dean Spanos, chairman and president of the Chargers, talks with Broncos… (Doug Pensinger / Getty Images )

The owner of the San Diego Chargers denied a report Thursday that he has already decided to fire Coach Norv Turner and General Manager A.J. Smith at the end of the season.

"There is only one person in this organization who will make those decisions and that's me, and I haven't shared my thoughts with anyone," said Dean Spanos, Chargers chairman and president, whose family owns the franchise. "I will make my evaluations at the end of the season. Anything coming out now — from sources or otherwise — is pure speculation."

Earlier in the day, U-T San Diego cited unnamed sources who said Spanos decided a month ago to fire Turner but has more recently decided Smith must go too.

The report said Spanos has decided to make the move at the end of the season because that's his preferred time frame.

Further, the report said Spanos has a successor to Smith in mind in Jimmy Raye, the current director of player personnel, and Raye's right-hand man would be Spanos' son, John, the current director of college scouting.

The team would owe Smith $4 million for the remaining two years of his deal and Turner $3 million for his one remaining season.

The Chargers, who play at Pittsburgh on Sunday, are 4-8 and have lost four in a row. They have missed the playoffs the last two seasons.

sam.farmer@latimes.com

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