Speed Read: Is Tom Cable About To Get Hacked?

Just when you thought things couldn’t get any weirder in Raiderland, the Internets are buzzing over a report published on NATIONAL FOOTBALL POST yesterday that cites anonymous sources detailing exactly what Tom Cable did to assistant Randy Hanson. If you aren’t familiar with what’s going on, we told you that Cable is alleged to have punched Hanson in the jaw during a meeting on August 5th. And if the latest report is anywhere close to being true, Cable won’t need to worry about his quarterback controversy, or anything else Raider related, anymore.

Tom Cable, Randy Hanson

First, here’s the nitty gritty:

According to the source, Cable knocked Hanson out of his chair and up against the wall and into a cabinet. Cable and Hanson fell to the floor, where Hanson was choked, the source said, and Cable was pulled off Hanson by the other men before Cable went after Hanson again.

“Cable said, ‘I am going to kill you, I am going to kill you,’ as he was choking him,’’ according to the source, who also said furniture in the room was damaged.

Hanson’s jaw is reportedly broken, and he also reportedly had to undergo further treatment in the emergency room on Wednesday night, a full two weeks after the August 5th incident. Cable could be facing a felony assault charge if everything is as it seems. If charges are filed, one has to think that Roger Goodell would invoke the “personal conduct” policy and at least force Cable to take a leave of absence, if not ban him altogether.

Roger Goodell

(”Why couldn’t you just ‘make it rain’ instead, Tom?”)

If it’s proven that Tom Cable choked Randy Hanson and broke his jaw, should he lose his job?

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Things are complicated, however, by the fact that Hanson doesn’t seem like the most stable guy on the face of the Earth. In fact, he only decided to cooperate with police and NFL investigations when he was told by Davis that he wouldn’t be able to return to his assistant position. He had hoped that the matter would be addressed internally, and that he’d be given his job back. The alleged assault came when Cable told Hanson that he was being demoted from his job as defensive backs coach and would instead by breaking down film and wouldn’t be allowed on the field.

If Hanson’s name sounds familiar, it’s because it is. Just weeks into last season, Lane Kiffin’s tenure with Oakland started to become unraveled when he suspended Hanson for “personal issues.” Hanson claimed that he was subsequently ostracized by Kiffin and wasn’t being allowed to perform any coaching duties. This angered Al Davis, who used Kiffin’s suspension of Hanson without his knowledge as an example of “insubordination.”

Lane Kiffin wipes face

Now, Hanson is experiencing déjà vu. From the NFP story:

Cable had been working to reduce Hanson’s role for months, the source said. Cable said that Hanson had been confusing the Raiders’ defensive backs, and Cable held a closed-door meeting with the cornerbacks and safeties and just himself. That led to a meeting between Cable and Hanson in Hanson’s room, and later a meeting with coaches after Cable had instructed Hanson not to come to practice.

Anything can happen once, but Hanson has been basically told to take a hike by two coaches now, which means that there’s probably something wrong with him. But is it worthy of getting his jaw broken? If Cable is charged, he’ll have to decide if his defense will be “I didn’t do it” or “he got what he deserved.” For what it’s worth, it looks like Cable was coming to the defense of his defensive coordinator, John Marshall, who NFP said was being verbally abused by Hanson.

Also complicating matters is the fact that the particulars of NFP’s story aren’t being corroborated independently by anyone at this point. Every other story I can find about the situation references the NFP story as its main source. The writer of the story, Brad Biggs, just joined NFP earlier this month, though he has written about the Bears for the CHICAGO SUN-TIMES for several years. I don’t think there’s any reason to doubt any of Biggs’ assertions, but it is a bit curious that none of the major newspapers in the Bay Area have confirmed any of these new details with their own reporting. Or maybe they just think Hanson’s crazy and not worthy of further publicity.

Randy Hanson

(It’s not a good sign when this is the only photo of you on the entire Internet.) 

The last time the United States hosted the World Cup, in 1994, O.J. Simpson stole its thunder and most of America ignored the whole thing. But now, with momentum for the sport building in the states, the U.S. is bidding to host either the 2018 or 2022 event (2022 seems more likely), and as part of the bid must come up with 12-18 stadiums to be used.

Yesterday, the list was trimmed down from 45 venues to 32, and contains, as you might expect, many of the largest and most modern NFL stadiums, as well as a smattering of others. Among those still on the list are the Rose Bowl, which hosted the ‘94 final, as well as the new stadiums in Arlington, East Rutherford, and Indianapolis. A few college-only stadiums are under consideration as well, including Michigan Stadium, Stanford Stadium, and Husky Stadium in Seattle.

Michigan Stadium

(Is there enough room for a full-size soccer field here between the brick walls?)

The dregs of the list include Detroit’s Ford Field (which shouldn’t really host any sort of championship football), domed stadiums like the Edward Jones Dome and the Georgia Dome, and the Oakland Mausoleum, which probably (hopefully) won’t exist in 2022.

Among those cities taken off the list were Salt Lake City, Las Vegas (sports bettors still can’t get used to a game where an over/under might actually be set at “0″), and the soccer-crazed town of Fayetteville, Arkansas (could you see Ghana and Portugal going to play a game in Fayetteville?). Unfortunately, Arkansas’ exclusion will further complicate Alan Partridge’s “soccermeter” should he give it another go in 2022:

• If “disgruntled” was a stat, there’s no doubt that Gary Sheffield would lead all of baseball in that category over the last 20 years. But he seems to have a point this time. The NY DAILY NEWS says Sheffield is confused that the Mets withdrew his name from waivers after another team made a claim, but also told him that he’s not in their plans for next season. It’s somewhat bizarre, considering the Mets are paying him $400,000 this year, that they wouldn’t just let him go. Especially if they could trade him for some sort of mid-to-low level prospect to a contender. Sheff’s Chefs are particularly unamused.

Sheff's Chefs

• If you’ve ever wanted to have a guy in a mascot suit take you for a piggy back ride, you’ll think twice after watching this. There are few things more hilarious than a good, solid, mascot accident:

• The NCAA is furious that a judge has ruled that documents relating to an investigation into academic fraud at Florida State are public record and FSU should have unfettered access to them, according to the ORLANDO SENTINEL.

• The Cubs are, finally, about to get Ricketts.

• An eight-year-old British kid named Tiger Brewer became the youngest person ever to stand on top of a plane while it’s flying around. This is apparently called “wing walking.” His parents are named Colin and Zoe if you’re wondering who’s trying to come up with a creative way to off their own kid.

• Ex-Major Leaguer Scott Spiezio is trying to work his way back from issues with drugs and alcohol, and is doing so in the Golden Baseball League. The LA TIMES caught up with him as he tries to repair his reputation.

Chad Ochocinco is about to change his middle name to “Gramatica,” after kicking a perfect extra point and booming a kickoff inside the 10:

• Earlier in the game, Randy Cross produced some fine artwork with the telestrator. KISSING SUZY KOLBER has the screenshot.

• The NEW YORK TIMES says baseball is likely to toy with the idea of an NBA-style system in which draft picks have pre-determined salaries based on where they are picked in the next Collective Bargaining Agreement. This, of course, is at odds with baseball’s general open-market attitude, but might be easier to negotiate than a salary cap.

• Vote early and often: FANTASY BASEBALL DUGOUT’s “Hottest Baseball Wife” poll is underway, and 2009’s winner will be crowned on August 31st. Mark DeRosa’s wife, Heidi, is the defending champ and seems to be running away with it this year as well. Some of the pics on the site aren’t exactly flattering (Jordan Schneider looks like she’s in the Zapruder film), so here’s a better photo of the scrappy underdog, Ashley Eckstein:

Ashley Eckstein

Auburn Cleared In Academic Wrongdoing Probe

We all had our fun ragging Auburn’s athletic department several years ago after a NEW YORK TIMES article blew the whistle on dubious classes some of their athletes were taking. The disputed courses were “independent” study classes that appeared to offer quick credits and passing grades for marginal work or actual education.

Sides were taken, heads rolled, much hand-wringing commenced, you know the drill. Only now has the NCAA reached a conclusion on its investigation, and they’ve cleared Auburn of major wrongdoing. Read more…

IU AD Falls On Sword After New NCAA Charge

Rick Greenspan probably brought this all on himself — when you hire a coach who’s been busted for recruiting violations before like Kelvin Sampson, you’re going to take the fall if and when he’s accused of violations again.

So now with the NCAA’s recent revealing of a charge against Indiana University for “failing to monitor” the activities of both Sampson and assistant Rob Senderoff regarding phone calls to recruits, Greenspan decided to get out, his resignation effective at the end of the calendar year.

Rick Greenspan motorcycle

(He’ll be riding out of Bloomington with the wind in his hair.)

The INDIANAPOLIS STAR reports that the NCAA infractions committee handed down the charge because:

…IU failed “to provide the extra close oversight and scrutiny of all aspects of the men’s basketball program that was required by the prior infractions record of the former coach.” That refers to Sampson breaking recruiting rules while in his previous job at Oklahoma. Penalties from those violations followed Sampson to IU.

Read more…

More NCAA Heat For Indiana’s Kelvin Sampson

ESPN’s Andy Katz is reporting that Indiana coach Kelvin Sampson may have lied about phone calls when the university self-reported violations, meaning further problems for the beleaguered coach.

Kelvin Sampson

This investigation comes after Sampson had already been punished by the school for more illegal phone calls at IU while he was already on probation for similar offenses at his last coaching gig in Oklahoma.

Read more…

NCAA Throws 14,434-page book @ 97 YO Wooden

Bill Dwyre of the LOS ANGELES TIMES reports on a recent investigation into the UCLA basketball program that has been launched by the NCAA. The target? 97-year-old John Wooden.

John Wooden

Just before the start of this college basketball season, UCLA received a letter of inquiry from the NCAA, seeking information about possible illegal contact between a recruit and a person representing the interests of the university.

The recruit was Kevin Love, now the Bruins’ star freshman center.

The person representing the interests of the university was John Wooden.”

Read more…