Women accuse Raiders coach of violent behavior
November 2, 2009
SAN DIEGO – The former wife of Oakland Raiders coach Tom Cable and a recent girlfriend claim Cable has a history of violent behavior toward women, and asked that he seek help for his anger.
Sandy Cable and Marie Lutz said in seperate interviews on ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” that the first-year head coach physically abused them at various times during their relationships.
Cable’s attorney, Donald Yee, said in a statement Sunday that ESPN refused to provide details about the story when the network asked for comment. Yee also questioned the network’s motives after waiting until Friday to contact the coach.
“In our view, ESPN has quite purposefully chosen not to provide a fair and balanced story,” Yee said. “To us, this represents ambush journalism and utterly fails to meet the standards and practices of responsible journalists.”
ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz said the network stands by its story.
“We’ve got nothing to say right now,” Raiders senior executive John Hererra said before the Raiders lost 24-16 at San Diego.
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Cable acknowledged striking Sandy Cable with an open hand in a statement released to The Associated Press. Cable said the altercation happened more than 20 years ago and was the only time he’s ever touched a woman inappropriately.
“During my first marriage, I became aware that my wife Sandy had committed adultery,” Cable said in the statement. “I became very angry and slapped her with an open hand. What I did was wrong and I have regretted and felt sorrow about that moment ever since.”
Lutz told ESPN that she remembers Cable hitting her “three, four times,” and said that she visited his house in January and found another woman there. Lutz said she demanded to meet the woman and that Cable grabbed her by the arm and eventually pushed her out the door.
Cable said that Lutz had come over uninvited, and that he cooperated with an investigation by the Alameda Police Department that cleared him of any wrongdoing.
“I never battered her in any way,” Cable said. “It is most unfortunate that ESPN has given Ms. Lutz this forum to revisit this incident when I did nothing wrong and further chose not to provide me with an appropriate opportunity to respond.”
The 44-year-old Cable, a former Raiders offensive line coach, took over as head coach when Lane Kiffin was fired four weeks into the 2008 season.
His on-field struggles as he tries to rebuild the once-proud franchise have been mirrored by off-field problems, including an argument in August in which Oakland assistant coach Randy Hanson accused Cable of breaking his jaw during a coaches meeting.
Napa County district attorney Gary Lieberstein decided not to pursue charges last month.
The NFL had been considering whether to discipline Cable under the league’s personal conduct policy, which specifically identifies workplace violence. League spokesman Greg Aiello said the revelations on the “Outside the Lines” report would also be considered.
“We will carefully review these matters in conjunction with the Raiders and consistent with our personal conduct policy,” Aiello said.