Cable: Nothing happened

So Tom Cable wants us all to bury our heads in the sand and pretend as if nothing happened between he and assistant coach Randy Hanson. Those were, in fact, Cable's exact words: Nothing happened. The Raiders head coach may live to regret speaking up. Find out why as S&BI's Michael Wagaman breaks down the latest on the situation.

As expected, the Raiders' training camp facility was buzzing Tuesday morning and it wasn't just because of the team's joint practices with the San Francisco 49ers. Hordes of media descended on Napa to hear the latest twist in the ‘Sluggo-gate' case.

And what an intriguing spin it was.

Oakland head coach Tom Cable, who if the reports are to be believed is responsible for fracturing the jaw of assistant Randy Hanson, tersely answered questions about the topic then blurted out the two words that may come back to haunt him: Nothing happened.

Apparently Cable wants us to forget about Hanson being taken to a local hospital to get treated for a jaw injury he told police resulted from being punched by an unidentified member of the Raiders coaching staff. We should also overlook the police report that details the alleged incident.

In Cable's perfect world, all of that would happen and the issue would just go away.

But it's not Cable's world, which is why reporters and television cameras closed in on him as he spoke about the day's practice, waiting for the subject of Hanson's jaw and however it got smashed to get brought up.

When it did, Cable was clearly unhappy about it.

"Listen, you want to talk about this football team and the players on this football team, I'll talk about it with you all day," Cable said tersely. "Otherwise, I'm not getting into it."

Asked if he understood the need to question him about it, Cable said "I respect that but you have to respect the fact that I want to talk about my team."

Had he stopped there, Cable would have been fine. Or at least as reasonably fine as one man could facing an investigation from the NFL offices, not to mention possible legal issues to deal with. The media would have packed their cameras, clicked off their recorders and went quietly into the day believing Cable was keeping everything in-house.

But he couldn't stop himself.

Cable was asked if what he had told ESPN, that nothing happened, was true. Without pausing, Cable responded, "Nothing happened."

But something did happen. Exactly what it was, only three people know for certain – Cable, Hanson and defensive coordinator John Marshall – and none of them are talking publicly about it.

The NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell apparently feel enough happened to require further investigation. The league has begun an investigation into the matter and could discipline Cable if they find any wrongdoing.

The NFL has a personal conduct policy that applies to both players and coaches. In it, the league's stance is very clear. Under the Standard of Conduct portion of the policy, the league states discipline may be imposed for any of the following reasons:

? Criminal offenses including, but not limited to, those involving: the use or the threat of violence; domestic violence and other forms of partner abuse; theft and other property crimes; sex offenses; obstruction or resisting arrest; disorderly conduct; fraud; racketeering; and money launder;

? Violence or threatening behavior among employees, whether in or outside the workplace.

? Conduct that imposes inherent danger to the safety and well-being of another person.

Depending on which story you believe, Cable could be guilty of all three of the aforementioned criteria. If so, will the NFL come down hard on him? Goodell has had no qualms in suspending players when they messed up, so it would only make sense for him the do the same with coaches.

The sad part is that this story won't be going away any time soon. Yes, the NFL is a physical and violent sport and injuries and fights are a very routine part of training camp. But hitting or shoving someone with the end result being an injured jaw isn't acceptable.

It wasn't acceptable for Bill Romanowski when he punched out tight end Marcus Williams in 2003. It wasn't acceptable when Michael Westbrook he beat the daylights out of teammate Stephen Davis.

In the big picture, it probably doesn't mean too much to the players. The longer it drags out, the more of an issue it will be for them, but if they can insulate themselves from the Lane Kiffin feud they can certainly do the same with Cable.

And that is Cable's biggest mistake in this whole mess. He could have cleared it up the day it became public knowledge. He could have given his side, given an obligatory apology (or not), then moved on with football. Instead, he faced two days of questioning about it then thought he could dodge his way out of the mess by saying nothing happened.


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