Coach Cable Not Talking About Alleged Fight

By Joe Kukura
|  Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009  |  Updated 10:37 AM PDT
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Head coach Tom Cable of the Oakland Raiders leads his team against the Denver Broncos during week 12 NFL action at Invesco Field at Mile High in Denver.

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The 49ers and the Raiders have a rare head to head game this weekend at Candlestick, but talk on sports radio is not about the match up and instead is swirling around reports head coach Tom Cable hauled off an hit a defensive assistant.

The story is quickly spiraling into quite the scandal. 

The assistant coach was hospitalized with a jaw injury after what is described as a violent training camp brawl.

Nancy Gay is reporting at AOL Fanhouse that the punch was thrown by Cable himself and the victim is Randy Hanson.

Coach Cable isn't talking about reports that he is the one who punched Hanson in the jaw.

The NFL is investigating the matter. Spokesman Greg Aiello says the league is looking into the situation to try to determine the facts of what happened.

Napa police have been brought in to the matter, but have refuse to provide the identity of the assault victim because of confidentiality concerns.

The incident actually took place on August 5, but the police report just became public.

Cable repeatedly sidestepped questions Monday about the incident. He called it an "internal issue" and declined to discuss his involvement.

"Two NFL sources have told FanHouse the attacker was Raiders' first-year head coach Tom Cable," writes Ms. Gay, a longtime Raiders beat writer, "and 'that Hanson never saw it coming.'"

Hanson has experienced problems in the past. He was suspended by former Raider head coach Lane Kiffin after he was critical of the team's opening-day loss to the Denver Broncos last season.

Right now this story is just an allegation based on unnamed sources. But if so, let's acknowledge the elephant in the room here -- Is it a bad thing to be excited that your head coach would punch somebody? And one of his own assistants, at that?

After all, these are the Raiders. This is the outlaw team of the NFL, the team with a pirate and two deadly weapons on their helmet, the team that never does anything by the book and still makes it to the Super Bowl at least once every decade. This is the team of John Matuszak, Jack Tatum, and Bill Romanowski. In a sense, having a head coach who punches guys out is very much in keeping with the Raider mystique.

But again, we don't know for sure that Coach Cable was actually the one who threw the punch. Coach is expected to clear up the matter in a press conference following Monday afternoon practice.

 Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who is currently praying the rosary that the next time Cable punches someone is during the live broadcast of an actual game.

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