Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

October 30, 2008
The Raiders vs. Lane Kiffin

Below is the Raiders response to the grievance filed by former coach Lane Kiffin.

The Oakland raiders received Mr. Kiffin's grievance today. It is a short letter that:

*Completely ignores the fact that Mr. Kiffin repeatedly made reckless statements that attacked players, assistant coaches and the owner of the team and were damaging to the Raiders organization.

*Does not dispute that Mr. Kiffin made a number of false statements to the media that were damaging to the Raiders organization.

*The grievance attaches Mr. Kiffin's signed contract but ignores the provisions that explicitly stated that all of his duties were "all subject to the direction and supervision of the general partner" of the Raiders and also ignores the provisions of his contract that required him to avoid any conduct "which would embarrass, discredit or disgrace" the Raiders. Mr. Kiffin failed to honor his contract.

*Ignores completely an NFL resolution that was expressly incorporated into every coach's contract and states that every coach:

"Shall have obligation to communicate openly and candidly with the principle owner and or his designated representatives; to ensure that club ownership is informed on a complete and timely basis of all matters affecting the club's operations to respect the responsibility and authority of ownership, to make decisions on behalf of the club and to avoid actions that undermine or damage the club's reputation or operating success."

Mr. Kiffin violated each and every provision of this resolution.

*Ignores the fact that Mr. Kiffin's false statements to the media were conveyed to the fans and the team further damaging the reputation and good will of the Raiders organization.

Mr. Kiffin was terminated for cause. The grievance is without merit.

The Raiders would appear to have a good case against Kiffin.

*The first point is a matter of interpretation. Kiffin would argue he was only telling the truth. The Raiders would contend Kiffin saying Al Davis' refusal to cut players and his harsh critiques of players such as WR Javon Walker and OT Mario Henderson along with distancing himself from having any say with the Raiders defense are examples of this.

*Kiffin said he had no communication with Davis for weeks and that his last communication was prior to the season opener. Davis presented a letter sent to Kiffin days after the season opener against Denver and said he spoke to Kiffin in Buffalo with strength coach Brad Roll and another coach as witnesses. That would give the Raiders the advantage in this case.

*The third point centers on Davis being the boss. When Kiffin suspended defensive assistant Randy Hanson without telling Davis, he did so without permission. Kiffin's constant criticisms discredited the Raiders and how the team is run.

*The Raiders could use Kiffin's quiet pursuit of the head-coaching job at the University of Arkansas for the fourth point. The moment Kiffin looked into the job, it could be interpreted as an action that would "undermine or damage the club's reputation or operating success."

If you don't think so, ask DeAngelo Hall or anyone in Atlanta what Bobby Petrino's act did to the team.

*Kiffin's comments can be seen as damaging to the team. Some of the things he said portrayed the team as a crazy place to be.

That the owner and coach would go weeks without speaking isn't a sign of sanity.

I'm sure Kififn will counter with he was telling the truth and that there are several others that would agree.

I'm sure Kiffin's case refutes the Raiders' claims. In his limited media appearances since, Kififn said Davis told lies about him. There were reports Kiffin considered a defamation suit.

This isn't the last we'll hear of this.

--Jason Jones

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About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

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