How crazy is this Tom Cable story? Cable, the coach of the Oakland Raiders, is accused of punching then-assistant coach Randy Hanson in August. It's fact that Hanson had a broken jaw and needed hospitalization, but Cable denies he's the reason. While police and the NFL try to get to the bottom of it all, another coach has been suspended for fighting an assistant. University of New Mexico football coach Mike Locksley was suspended Tuesday by the school for 10 days after getting into it with an assistant. It's not unusual for coaches to get into confrontations with coaches from other teams. And it isn't crazy to see coaches yelling at opposing players. But it's always bizarre to see coaches fighting coaches or players on their team. Here's a look at some of the more memorable incidents involving coaches, their colleagues and players:
Frank Lucchesi vs. Lenny Randle
In May 1977, Texas Rangers second baseman Lenny Randle lost his starting job to Bump Wills, and soon manager Frank Lucchesi told the media he was tired of Randle whining about the demotion, saying, "I'm tired of these punks saying 'Play me or trade me,' '' among other insults. The two had a confrontation before one game, with Randle punching Lucchesi several times, breaking his jaw and giving him a concussion. Randle, who was charged with assault, was suspended for 30 games and traded to the Mets. Lucchesi later sued Randle, claiming the fight led to his firing. The case was settled out of court.
Lou Piniella vs. Rob Dibble
It's not surprising these two duked it out. Both are highly competitive, emotional, Type A personalities. In September 1992, while Lou Piniella, top right, was managing the Reds and Rob Dibble was one of Lou's Nasty Boys relievers, the two got into a he said-he said dispute over the severity of a Dibble shoulder injury. The argument then turned into a wrestling match in full view of the media. It was like a pro wrestling match: lots of shouting and rolling around, but no one was hurt.
Ray Perkins vs. Ron Heller
The 1987 season was bizarre for the Bucs. For starters, a players strike interrupted it for a month. The Bucs started 4-3 under coach Ray Perkins, top left, but lost their final eight games. In the middle of that streak, the Bucs trailed the Saints 28-10 at halftime. Bucs offensive tackle Ron Heller told teammates not to quit, but all Perkins heard was "quit.'' So he went after Heller with punches and was thankful when Heller did not punch back. But damage was done. Perkins broke his thumb on Heller's helmet.
Billy Martin vs. Ed Whitson
Late in the 1985 season, Yankees manager Billy Martin got into the sauce, as he was prone to do, and got into a verbal altercation with pitcher Ed Whitson. Accounts differ on exactly what happened. The argument started in a hotel bar, then spilled into the lobby and then up to the third floor. Whitson said Martin sucker-punched him. Martin said Whitson started it. There's no dispute about how it ended. Martin had a broken arm and two broken ribs.
Billy Martin vs. Reggie Jackson
This is the most notable nonpunch "fight'' and certainly one of baseball's best public confrontations. In a game on national television at Fenway Park in 1977, Yankees skipper Billy Martin grew irritated with Reggie Jackson when Martin thought Jackson didn't hustle after a blooper hit in front of him in rightfield. Looking to embarrass Jackson, Martin pulled him from the game in the middle of an inning. Jackson went into the dugout, and Martin immediately confronted him. The two spouted off, and Martin had to be held back by coaches from attacking Jackson. That's a good thing, because Jackson likely would've clocked him.
Billy Martin vs. Dave Boswell
This was the first famous fight of Billy Martin's managerial career. The story goes that in 1969 while managing the Twins, Martin ran into the parking lot of a club in Detroit to break up a fight between Twins pitcher Dave Boswell and outfielder Bob Allison. Martin later said Boswell came after him, so he did the only thing he could do. He decked him. When it was over, Boswell needed 20 stitches in his face, Martin needed seven stitches on his knuckles, and Allison had a black eye and needed dental work.
Buddy Ryan vs. Kevin Gilbride
Longtime NFL defensive guru Buddy Ryan had some famous run-ins with Mike Ditka while both were coaching in Chicago. (Remember how both were carried off the field when the Bears won the Super Bowl?) But those tiffs never escalated to physical violence. In 1993, however, Ryan was the Houston Oilers' defensive coordinator when he decided to take a swing at offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride — on the sideline, during a game. Ryan never liked Gilbride's run-and-shoot offense (Ryan called it "chuck-and-duck''), and when Oilers QB Cody Carlson fumbled a snap on what was to be a pass play instead of a play to run out the clock at the end of the first half, Ryan snapped. Ryan, then nearly 60, punched Gilbride, 42, before players quickly separated them.
Buddy Ryan vs. Kevin Gilbride
Long-time defensive guru Buddy Ryan had some famous run-ins with his old boss, Mike Ditka, while both were coaching in Chicago. (Remember how both were carried off the field when the Bears won the Super Bowl?) But those tiffs never escalated to actual physical violence. In 1993, however, Ryan was the head coach of the Oilers when he decided to take a swing at his offensive coordinator, Kevin Gilbride — on the sidelines, during a game. Ryan never liked Gilbride's run-and-shoot offense (Ryan called it "chuck-and-duck'') and when Oilers QB Cody Carlson fumbled a snap on what was to be a pass play instead of a play to run out of the clock at the end of the first half, Ryan snapped. He punched Gilbride before players quickly separated them.
P.J. Carlesimo vs. Latrell Sprewell
P.J. Carlesimo, who had coached Seton Hall to the 1989 Final Four, moved to the NBA and was with Golden State in 1997 when he was attacked by one of his players, guard Latrell Sprewell, at practice. Some accounts say Sprewell choked Carlesimo for nearly 15 seconds before being pulled off by teammates, and photos showed obvious bruises around Carlesimo's throat. Sprewell was suspended by the Warriors for the rest of the season and never played for them again.