The League

Dave Goldberg
Sports Reporter

Dave Goldberg

Covered the NFL for the AP for 25 years and now is a senior NFL writer for

Raiders' Call?


Roger Goodell should bring Tom Cable into his office as soon as possible. Once he does, however, it's not clear what the NFL commissioner can or should do about allegations by the Oakland coach's first wife and an ex-girlfriend to ESPN that he struck them.

For despite his reputation as a disciplinarian, Goodell believes in due process. I'm not a lawyer, but I've watched enough "Law and Order'' to know that at this point, the allegations against Cable -- other than one he acknowledges that took place more than two decades ago -- are hearsay, inadmissible in court. And the one he acknowledged took place long before Cable had anything to do with the NFL.

Goodell, of course, does not have to abide by legal niceties. In the past, he's suspended players without waiting for the court process to play out -- Adam "Pacman'' Jones, Chris Henry and Odell Thurman are three whose repeated transgressions got them punished before their cases had finished going through the court system. But they were repeat (and repeat and repeat and repeat) offenders.

On the other hand, it's important he deal with Cable quickly. Management as well as labor should be subject to his discipline, something a senior NFL league official reiterated to me Sunday night. If Goodell disciplines players under his personal conduct policy, so should he discipline coaches or any other boss.

The first step is an investigation by the NFL security department, which also is looking into the fight last summer in which assistant coach Randy Hanson ended up with a broken jaw. Hanson says it was inflicted by Cable during an argument, but the district attorney in Napa County, Calif., where it is alleged to have taken place, declined to bring charges.

The situation with the women as detailed so far is a "she said, he said'' situation.

There are conflicting accounts of the reports of an incident last January at Cable's home in Alameda, Calif. involving an ex-girlfriend -- Cable's current wife denied to ESPN that there was any violence involved. In a statement issued Sunday, Cable acknowledged that more than 20 years ago, he slapped his first wife Sandy with an open hand after he became "very angry'' at her. "What I did was wrong and I have regretted and felt sorrow about that moment ever since,'' the statement said. "Since then, she and I have worked together to raise a successful and happy daughter.''

If it's unlikely Goodell will do anything about something that happened long before Cable was in the NFL, might the Raiders, a team that is troubled both on the field and off?

Al Davis, the owner, runs everything dealing with football.

But the CEO is a woman, Amy Trask, who might have a different perspective.

With the Raiders, you never know where the next surprise might come from.

By Dave Goldberg  |  November 2, 2009; 6:58 AM ET  | Category:  Oakland Raiders , Roger Goodell Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: No Place for Wimps | Next: Anger Mismanagement


Please email us to report offensive comments.

His first wife Sandy responded to his quote very quickly saying he punched her, and did not hit her with an open hand (slap). Apparently he wants to white wash the issue. Normal people never have a single issue like this to happen in their lives and he now has two women and an amployee come forward over abuse charges.

Posted by: cadam72 | November 2, 2009 9:42 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company