Club President Wellington T. Mara flouted his nephew yesterday and said, "I think we (the New York Giants) should find a coach and put him in full control of the football operations."
That development conceivably could restore George Allen to the picture. Allen wants the job.
Timothy J. Mara, nephew, vice president and treasurer, has insisted that a director of operations -- or general manager -- be hired first, then a coach. He appealed to Commissioner Pete Rozelle to arbitrate the family feud.
Wellington Mara has been reported to be adamantly opposed to Allen because of tactics he used, against the Giants, as coach of the Redskins.
Allen recently apologized to Redskins President Edward Bennett Williams for remarks he made after declining to sign a new contract with the Redskins and going to the Los Angeles Rams.
A football figure who talks to Allen almost weekly speculated that Rozelle probably persuaded Allen to publicly make peace with Williams to indicate to other owners that Allen would be cooperative if given another chance to coach and/or be a general manager.
As NFL commissioner, Rozelle would like to have a successful operation in the New York area.The Giants have been under fire by fans and media for 15 years.
Allen proved himself a winner as a coach in Washington and in Los Angeles in his first hitch there. He was general manager of the Redskins for seven years.
The bickering between Wellington Mara, 62, and Timothy Mara, 43, has resulted in many names being virtually eliminated, despite the intervention of the commissioner.
Wellington reported that among lists of general manager candidates submitted by himself and his nephew one name appeared on both.
The club president said that person was contacted and said he did not want the job.
Wellington Mara declined to identify him, but it was believed to be Tommy Prothro, former Rams and San Diego Chargers coach who reiterated to San Diego reporters Wednesday, "I am retired."
Prothro was thought to be regarded highly because of his familiarity with the successful Rams' scouting and drafting system.
Timothy Mara said his uncle had in mind "only two coaches, Dan Reeves of the Dallas Cowboys and Darryl Rogers of Michigan State. Rogers has never been a head coach on the professional level and Reeves is an assistant coach.
"We'd be right back where we started. We owe the fans more. Until we can answer why not Gil Brandt (of Dallas), why not Don Klosterman (of Los Angeles), or why not Joe Thomas (formerly of Baltimore and San Francisco) as director of operations, I'm as baffled as you are."
Wellington Mara reportedly opposes Brandt because the Cowboys will not release him until after the draft in the first week of May.
Brandt said during Super Bowl week that if he got the job he would recommend as coaches Reeves, Rogers, and/or Woody Widenhofer, defensive backfield coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Dan Rooney of the Steelers said the Giants have not asked permission to talk to any of his assistants. Rogers' office said he was "out of town."
Klosterman favored Reeves or Bill Walsh of Stanford for the Rams' head coaching job before Allen was hired last year. Walsh now coaches San Francisco.
The feuding between the Maras, each of whom owns 50 percent of the Giants' stock, is using time that might cost them an opportunity to hire an available coach.
Ray Perkins of the San Diego staff was seriously considered for the Oakland job before Tom Flores was hired yesterday.
In San Diego it was reported that Dan Devine of Notre Dame, former Green Bay Packer coach and general manager, was under consideration by New England to replace Chuck Fairbanks.