UPDATE, 10:30 a.m.: The Storm has called a news conference for 11:30 a.m. where Tampa Bay Sports & Entertainment CEO Tod Leiweke and coach Tim Marcum are expected to address the coach's future with the franchise.
TAMPA — Embattled Tampa Bay Storm coach and general manager Tim Marcum denied reports Wednesday that he had been fired. But a resolution to his status with the team is likely to come by the end of the week.
A spokesman for Tampa Bay Sports & Entertainment, which owns the Arena Football League team, also denied Marcum had been dismissed or suspended but did say he has been told to stay away from the team.
Training camp is scheduled to begin Saturday. The season starts March 11.
"The only thing I can officially say right now is that I have not been let go as far as I know," said Marcum, who has won seven league titles (three with the Storm) and more games than any other Arena coach and led teams to 11 ArenaBowls (including in 2010).
Steve Duemig of WDAE-AM 620, who has hosted Marcum's radio show and says he's a friend, reported Wednesday that Marcum had been fired. Jason Dixon, a former longtime Storm announcer, reported on his Facebook and Twitter feeds that Marcum had been dismissed and replaced by assistant Dave Ewart.
"He has not been fired," said Bill Wickett, spokesman for Tampa Bay Sports & Entertainment, which also owns the Lightning. "Beyond that, we have no further comment."
Marcum, 67, is under fire for a deposition he gave in a lawsuit between him and Robert Nucci, who previously owned the Storm. Marcum admitted in the deposition receiving and forwarding e-mails that included pornography and racially insensitive topics via his work e-mail account. He said he forwarded the e-mails to other Storm employees.
WTSP-Ch. 10 first reported on the deposition.
Two former Storm players and one current one, all black, say Marcum is not a racist.
Tampa Bay Sports & Entertainment said at that time it would conduct an internal investigation.