Goodell: Cable discipline still possible

Updated: October 6, 2009, 7:45 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell says he plans to talk to Oakland Raiders coach Tom Cable about a training-camp incident that resulted in a former assistant coach accusing Cable of breaking his jaw while assaulting him.

Goodell
Goodell
Cable
Cable

"We're closely monitoring the case and will continue to monitor the case. We like to make sure we understand what all the facts are before we comment on it," Goodell said Tuesday during an NFL Play 60 event in New Jersey.

"When the appropriate time comes, we will speak to the coach," the commissioner said. "The personal conduct rule applies to everyone in the NFL, from the commissioner to the players and including coaches. This is something we take very seriously."

FoxSports.com first reported the possible meeting.

Goodell told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the league will speak to the coach when the appropriate time comes. He says the league wants to make sure it understands all the facts of the case before commenting.

According to FoxSports.com, Goodell will consider discipline for Cable if warranted, based on the results of an investigation by the Napa (Calif.) Police Department. Randy Hanson said to investigators that he was struck by Cable during the Aug. 5 incident, resulting in the broken jaw, his lawyer, John McGuinn, told the NFL Network.

"I don't know anything about that development [possible discipline]," Cable said after Sunday's 29-6 loss to the host Houston Texans.

The police, meanwhile, have finished their investigation into the allegations and forwarded the case to the district attorney's office.

Commander Andy Lewis said Monday the case was sent to the DA's office "very recently" and that the police had no further comment.

Napa County District Attorney Gary Lieberstein on Monday said in a recorded message left on his media line that his office is reviewing the report.

"We are taking this very seriously," Lieberstein said, adding that there is no timetable on when the review will be completed.

Hanson, who McGuinn said has been told to stay away from the team's facility, was interviewed for more than an hour in California by a Napa Valley detective and turned over medical records which detailed his fractured jaw, according to the lawyer.

"Randy answered the detective's questions, but we have no idea whether charges will be coming," McGuinn said, according to NFL Network. "That will strictly be determined by the police and the DA's office. We have no input. He just answered questions."

Although the Raiders visit the Giants on Sunday, Goodell's latest comments seem to minimize the chance that he would meet with Cable at NFL headquarters in New York this weekend.

As a possible first-time offender, however, it's more likely that a meeting would not take place until Cable has received due process. Coaches have the same rights as players.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello and Cable both said Monday that no meeting has been scheduled.

Cable denied the allegations in August and said Monday that he would not comment on the most recent reports, saying he'll let the legal process play out. Cable said the reports ever since the alleged attack have not been a distraction for him as he focuses on his job.

"It can't. When it all is resolved, you'll understand why I'm acting the way I am," he said. "It's just something I'm not going to talk about and shouldn't talk about. I'll let that process do its thing."

Hanson was also a key player in the dispute that helped lead to coach Lane Kiffin's firing last season. Kiffin suspended Hanson after the assistant criticized the coaching staff in a meeting following a 41-14 season-opening loss to Denver. Owner Al Davis later reinstated Hanson and Kiffin was fired a few weeks later.

Cable has said that "nothing happened" between himself and Hanson.

"When all the facts come out, everything will be fine," Cable said after the incident was reported.

McGuinn, however, called it a "textbook case of felony assault," according to the NFL Network.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

ALSO SEE