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Fowler apologizes for misleading bio
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Reggie Fowler offered explanations for the inaccurate information, during a news conference on Friday in Bloomington. (MPR Photo/Brandt Williams)
Prospective Minnesota Vikings owner Reggie Fowler has) admitted to mistakes and oversights on his resume, but he wouldn't say he lied about his background. Earlier this week journalists found discrepancies and inaccuracies in the biography supplied to the media from the PR company that represents him. At a news conference he offered explanations for the inaccurate information. And Fowler asked Vikings fans to believe him when he says he's willing and able to buy the team.

Bloomington, Minn. — The original fact sheet on Fowler claimed he played in a Little League World Series as a kid, had earned a business-related degree in college and had played professional football in the U.S. and Canada. Earlier this week reporters from the Star Tribune discovered these statements to be misleading and, at worst, just plain false.

"I did not lie about being involved in the Little League World Series," he said.

Fowler says when he was a kid, the baseball team he played for in Arizona won the state championship. He says that enabled them to play in a tournament in California which they referred to as "the world series." Fowler says it was not the same Little League World Series, which is held each year in Pennsylvania.

"But most people would equate the World Series with the Williamsport," a reporter said.

"Back in 1971, I don't know that we did," Fowler replied.

"But today..." the reporter began.

"But today is 2005. I don't know that I would agree with you. I don't look at the world series... just like when you were eight years old and you played the Super Bowl. When you played Pop Warner football it was the Super Bowl. So if I wrote on my resume I played in the Super Bowl, you're going to say 'you played in the Super Bowl.' Well I did. I played Pop Warner and we played the super bowl," Fowler said.

Fowler's original resume also said he played professional football in the National Football League, the Canadian Football League and the now defunct United States Football League. But reporters haven't been able to find proof of Fowler being on any of the teams he mentioned. Most teams don't keep a list of names of people who try out for them in training camp. But Fowler says "trying out" to him means he played on those teams.

"While I was in training camp I had a helmet on, I played. I played with the team. But I was in training camp. I was not on the active roster. I played with them," he said.

Fowler's resume claimed that he graduated from the University of Wyoming with a business degree when he actually earned a degree in social work. Fowler says the resume was written 15 years ago and was presented in a way to make him look better to possible employers.

"You have to remember, I've owned my company for the last 15 years," Fowler said. "I've never had to apply for a job. If you ask for bio information from me, we put the same consistent information that would be in there. But 15 years ago, when I was looking for companies, I don't think they want to hire a guy in social work. I think they want to hire a guy with a business degree."

Fowler's PR agents have updated his resume. They removed the reference to the Little League World Series and clarified his training camp experience with the Cincinnati Bengals. His new resume also lists his degree in social work, but also says he had an emphasis on business and finance, and that he enrolled in an MBA program.

Of course the big question is whether Fowler's finances stand up to the scrutiny of the NFL. Fowler has declined to answer questions about his personal net worth. But he says he's confident he has the money to buy the team. And he says the discrepancies in his resume shouldn't make Vikings fans doubt his credibility.

"All I can tell you is that I'm passionate about acquiring the Minnesota Vikings. I still want to be part of your community. I want to be accepted in your community. I'm going to do everything I can to show you that over the course of this evalutation process that the NFL is taking me through," he said.

The NFL is expected to make a decision on Fowler's purchase agreement with current owner Red McCombs in three to 10 weeks.