Cable could face stiff league discipline

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Oakland coach Tom Cable had no comment Friday concerning the fact that Napa, Calif. Police have reopened the case that he reportedly broke the jaw of defensive assistant Randy Hanson.

The NFL is also investigating the case.

If the NFL comes to the conclusion that Cable did assault Hanson (the league has handed down its own discipline without legal convictions in the past), it could potentially come down hard on Cable.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has developed a reputation for being hard on players who violate the league's personal conduct policy. Coaches and other league employees are also expected to live by the policy. But there hasn't been a major public case involving a coach.

If Cable is proven to have assaulted Hanson, expect Goodell to strike hard and fast.

Players will be up in arms if a coach escapes NFL discipline, in this day and age. Goodell is very image conscience. He knows people around the league will watch this situation closely to see how he handles it.

If he proves Cable is in the wrong, don't be surprised if Goodell hands down a stiff fine and/or suspension.