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Rita Benson LeBlanc Supplanted As Heir to Saints/Pelicans Empire

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The Times-Pic/nola.com is reporting BREAKING NEWS-style that Rita Benson LeBlanc is no longer the heir to the Benson Saints/Pelicans Empire, and that Gayle Benson is now the one.

One of these things doesn't belong anymore.
One of these things doesn't belong anymore.
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

As stated above, news is now coming out via the Times-Picayune/nola.com that Tom Benson's wife, Gayle, and not granddaughter Rita will inherit control of the Benson's Saints/Pelicans Empire when the time comes...

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Breaking: <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Saints?src=hash">#Saints</a>, <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Pelicans?src=hash">#Pelicans</a> shocker: wife Gayle, not granddaughter Rita, will control empire after Tom Benson dies <a href="http://t.co/cSitRdkTjv">http://t.co/cSitRdkTjv</a></p>&mdash; Jeff Duncan (@JeffDuncan_) <a href="https://twitter.com/JeffDuncan_/status/558069663863943169">January 22, 2015</a></blockquote>
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Duncan's got the column with the scoop posted at the nola.com, as revealed to him at Saints HQ this afternoon. CLICK HERE IN CASE THE LINK IN THE TWEET FAILS

New Orleans Saints and Pelicans owner Tom Benson will transfer ownership of the city's two major pro sports franchises to his wife, Gayle, when he dies, effectively ousting Benson's granddaughter, Rita Benson LeBlanc, who has previously been his handpicked successor.

In a plan revealed to NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune on Wednesday afternoon at the teams' Metairie headquarters, Benson said the change is necessary to "ensure the long-term stability and success" of the sports franchises and his other business interests.

Benson LeBlanc's offices at the teams' Metairie headquarters recently have been vacated and her company-issued Mercedes-Benz and cell phone have been seized.

In the piece, Duncan also noted the following:

She has not participated in team-related business meetings since the end of the Saints' 2014 season. A statement from Benson said, "Rita will not be involved in the ownership or management of the Saints or Pelicans."

This is quite a change from the succession plan trumpeted less than a year ago, with only banal and general quotes alongside this big news, so what gives? Time for us to speculate, ruminate, deviate and try not to hate in the comment thread.