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Raider Sellouts Revisited

Pro Football | AROUND THE LEAGUE

January 27, 2002|Associated Press

The Oakland Raiders are reviving claims that the accounting firm Andersen, known until last year as Arthur Andersen, destroyed evidence that could prove it lied in 1995 when it assured sellouts at the stadium.

Congressional investigations into Andersen, and revelations that Andersen destroyed documents of bankrupt client Enron Corp., have "refocused us on this issue," Raider attorney Ken Hausman said in the Contra Costa Times on Saturday.

The Raiders did not immediately return calls to Associated Press.

The Coliseum hired Andersen in 1995 to track applications for 10-year personal seat licenses to Raider games. The program was the centerpiece of the Bay Area's attempts to bring the Raiders back to Oakland.

The Raiders sued the parties in 1998 for $1.1 billion, contending Raider owner Al Davis was assured of stadium sellouts by Andersen representatives and by Coliseum and city officials.

The Raiders say poor attendance has hurt the team financially. Last year, 24,000 of 55,000 personal seat licenses were sold. Fewer than half of 143 luxury suites were taken.

The suit claims Davis wouldn't have returned the team had he known the stadium would not sell out, and that Andersen helped Coliseum officials conceal information.

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Former St. Louis Cardinal pitcher and Stanford quarterback Chad Hutchinson signed a seven-year contract with the Dallas Cowboys.

Hutchinson, 6 feet 5 and 230 pounds, received a $3.1-million signing bonus, the Cowboys' Web site reported. Hutchinson, 24, last played in 1997 at Stanford. He passed for more than 4,000 yards in two seasons.

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Carolina Panther Coach John Fox started filling out his staff Saturday by hiring Jack Del Rio as defensive coordinator.

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