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Lawsuit deposition reveals Tampa Bay Storm coach Tim Marcum had racy, racist material on work computer

Tim Marcum is involved in a lawsuit with an ex-owner of the Storm.

DANIEL WALLACE | Times

Tim Marcum is involved in a lawsuit with an ex-owner of the Storm.

Tim Marcum, who has been dogged by controversy during his tenure as Tampa Bay Storm coach, now faces questions about pornography and racist material found on his work computer.

In a WTSP-Ch. 10 report Wednesday, Marcum, acknowledges the material — which liberally uses the N-word, includes references to Air Force One as "Watermelon One" and has pictures of women having inter­course — is his during December's deposition as part of a lawsuit against Robert Nucci, the Arena Football League team's former owner.

But Marcum, 67, who declined to comment Thursday, didn't find the material inappropriate as long as it was kept between him and those with whom he corresponded. He also denied he is a racist.

"None of this has anything to do with what I feel as a man," he said in a video clip of the deposition during the Ch. 10 report.

Marcum, the winningest coach in Arena League history, also acknowledged sending material to other Storm employees and exchanging some through e-mail with other sports personalities, including former Bucs quarterback Steve DeBerg.

"Was I being paid for viewing those things?" he said in response to a deposition question. "I don't think so."

Tampa Bay Sports and Entertainment, which is owned by Jeff Vinik and recently added the Storm to its portfolio that includes the Lightning, said it is looking into the matter.

"We were disappointed to learn of the news report … referencing Tampa Bay Storm coach Tim Marcum," spokesman Bill Wickett said Thursday. "At this time, we will have no further comment, pending our own internal inquiry of the matter in question."

Nucci filed a lawsuit in June, alleging he was duped into buying a worthless franchise, and Marcum was named a defendant. Marcum separately sued Nucci, saying he had not been paid all of his 2009 salary and half of his $12,000 housing allowance.

Marcum has seen his share of controversy since joining the Storm in 1995, including:

• Being attacked by former player Ivan Caesar, who was upset he hadn't received an ArenaBowl ring after the 1996 season and tried to pry the ring off Marcum's finger during a practice in 1997.

• Being arrested and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol in 2002 with a conviction resulting in a suspended license.

• Seeing the team kicked off a flight for "being severely intoxicated" in 2003.

• Turning himself in after being charged with insurance fraud. Judgment was withheld after he entered a guilty plea. He was given probation and ordered to pay court costs in 2004.

• Handing out ArenaBowl championship rings with fake diamonds to 12 players in 2004.

• Being suspended four games over two seasons for salary cap violations at the end of the 2005 and start of the 2006 seasons.

• Ignoring an arbitrator's ruling to pay former player Rasheid Simmons worker's compensation in 2005.

Storm signing: Former Armwood High and USF player Jarriett Buie signed. The defensive linemen most recently played for Florida of the UFL and Montreal of the CFL.

Times staff writer Damian Cristo­dero, news researcher Caryn Baird and correspondent Brandon Wright contributed to this report, which includes information from Times files.

Lawsuit deposition reveals Tampa Bay Storm coach Tim Marcum had racy, racist material on work computer 01/27/11 [Last modified: Thursday, January 27, 2011 10:27pm]
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