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Janikowski Gets Go-Ahead

September 23, 2003|Sam Farmer | Times Staff Writer

DENVER — The Oakland Raiders defended their decision Monday to allow Sebastian Janikowski to play against the Denver Broncos two days after the troubled kicker was arrested for participating in a Walnut Creek, Calif., bar fight.

"He assured us he was not in the wrong," said Raider executive Bruce Allen, who met Sunday with Janikowski and the player's lawyer.

"If he screwed up, there will be a penalty. Law enforcement will do its job. As far as we've learned, there's nothing to suggest [he shouldn't play]."

Allen said he has not seen the police report from the incident, which occurred Saturday night at Slates Supper Club, a jazz-and-blues establishment. Janikowski, 25, was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor assault, misdemeanor vandalism and public drunkenness.

According to news reports, police said several people at the bar reported being assaulted by Janikowski, who is also suspected of breaking the mirrors off several cars near the restaurant.

It is believed that Janikowski, who has had a series of arrests involving drugs and alcohol, is enrolled in the NFL's substance-abuse program, and therefore could be subject to sanction from the league. The league does not disclose which players are enrolled in the program but reserves the right to suspend multiple-strike offenders.

"We are not involved in the program with the NFL and the player," Allen said. "The NFL won't do anything until there's a [legal] resolution that's taken place."

The Contra Costa Times reported that Janikowski on Sunday was bailed out of county jail in Martinez.

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