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Incognito violated NFL policy before but was he sanctioned?

In my column in today's Miami Herald I reference that golf outing incident during Fins Weekend in May of 2012 when Richie Incognito apparently sexually harassed and otherwise commited simple battery on an unemployed black woman who was volunteering as a hole monitor at the tournament.

The police report right here suggests Incognito acted like something of an oaf and bully.

According to the victim, Incognito used his golf club to touch her by rubbing it up against her vagina, then up her stomach then to her chest. He then used the club to knock sunglasses off the top of her head. After that, he proceeded to lean up against her buttocks with his private parts as if dancing, saying "Let it rain. Let it rain." He finally finished by emptying a bottled water on her face.

This is not in dispute. This happened. I have spoken to people who attended and the incident was the talk of the day. 

So why did we not hear anything about it until now? Well, Incognito and the Dolphins did a bang-up job of making the issue go away. The victim was paid off. And the team swept the issue under the proverbial rug.

Coach Joe Philbin, who was in his third month as Dolphins coach at the time, didn't cut Incognito. Oh, the coach was seen that season as standing up for the right kind of players, as Miami cut Chad Johnson after his domestic violence issue and traded Vontae Davis because, in part, he went to the bathroom too much during practice.

But Incognito, who did this misdeed, remained part of the team and locker room. He was one of the men Philbin talked about when he often said the Dolphins have the right kind of character in the locker room.

And still that is not the most worrisome thing here.

You see, this incident was a clear violation of the NFL Personal Conduct Policy.

The policy reads, in part:

"While criminal activity is clearly outside the scope of permissible conduct, and persons who engage in criminal activity will be subject to discipline, the standard of conduct for persons employed in the NFL is considerably higher. It is not enough simply to avoid being found guilty of a crime. Instead, as an employee of the NFL or a member club, you are held to a higher standard and expected to conduct yourself in a way that is responsible, promotes the values upon which the League is based, and is lawful.

"Persons who fail to live up to this standard of conduct are guilty of conduct detrimental and subject to discipline, even where the conduct itself does not result in conviction of a crime."

Furthermore, NFL policy demands that clubs report any incident that possibly violates the conduct policy to the NFL. There are no exceptions. The fact no arrest was made or no conviction reached does not relieve the club from the burden of alerting the NFL.

And then, ladies and gentlemen, the ball is in the NFL's court.

So did the Dolphins call the NFL or blow off the policy?

Did the NFL investigate or not?

Was there punishment on Incognito or not for this obvious violation of the NFL Conduct Policy?

I contacted the NFL on Friday and was told by a spokesman the league would not comment, citing the fact the league is not commenting on Incognito during its current investigation relative to the Jonathan Martin issue.

The Dolphins similarly are not commenting.

Here's the thing: Incognito missed no games, thus he was not suspended either by the league or the Dolphins. He was not cut from the team nor banished by the league. The strongest punishment he could have received, if any, was a fine that was not announced by the NFL.

(By the way, persons violating the policy are generally required to undergo a clinical evaluation and based on the results, may have to get counseling or treatment of some type. But regardless of whether the person gets counseling or treatment, those are not considered punishment).

The point is if the Dolphins and the NFL did their jobs in the 2012 incident, Incognito now faces sanctions as a repeat offender of the NFL Personal Conduct Policy. That would be bad for Incognito.

According to the policy:

"With respect to repeat offenders, the Commissioner may impose discipline on an enhanced and/or expedited basis. In such cases, the timing and nature of the discipline will be determined by the Commissioner based on several factors including but not limited to: the severity of the initial charge and later charge; the facts underlying the later charge; the length of time between the initial offense and later charge; and the player or employee’s compliance with counseling and other programs. Following a full investigation and/or resolution of the proceedings, the Commissioner will review the matter and make any appropriate adjustments."

That assumes action the first time a year ago. 

But if the club or the league looked the other way last year, then Incognito's alleged harassing of a 6-5 teammate got the Dolphins' and NFL's attention like the harassing of a 5-5 "civilian" woman could not. And that would look bad for the institutions.


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Philbin like a battered wife on an installment of 'Cops', was stickin by his man.

Great article Mando. Philbin's double standards show him to be a liar, spineless and a weak minded hypocrite.

Philbin should be fired over this, let alone his coaching, play calling, game manangement and dealing with the refs.... joke of a coach.

There's going to be so many changes in this organization. With Ross at the helm, I cant see these changes being positive.

Well, see, I bought into J Philbin's schtick of good character guys; building through the draft; putting players in position to succeed, etc. Over his 1.5 years he has backtracked on almost every principle. It's depressing but I believe virtually nothing he says anymore. It's like that old lawyer joke: "How can you tell if Philbin is lying? -His mouth is moving".

Wait just a second he did all this and she didn't walk away when it started? It doesn't sound like it just took a second. If she was there past the first part of it then she was probably more than willing. I have to ask WHY? Shakedown is why.

Then the supposition is that it wasn't reported to the NFL. I see a no comment from the NFL. So proving it sounds to be the missing piece from story BEFORE concluding Philbin is this or that.

I get tired of hearing Armando and the bloggers complain about what a coach said or didn't say. Are you all in a coma or what? Not a single coach in the league gives the public anything but predictable spin and rhetoric. It would be strategically disadvantageous to tell you anything worthwhile.

As far as all the talk for wanting the 'right' players with good character, the fact is only 10% of the NFL players fits that bill. Let's not create illusions otherwise. Let's not make believe these men coming off the plane in business suits are business men. The are for the most part ghetto blasters that would be doing nothing more challenging than stocking shelves at Walmart if professional sports didn't exist.

It is show business folks, plain and simple, nothing more. Professional sports only exists to sell commercials, no different than sitcoms and soap operas. The only show to take seriously is the game on the field, everything else is frivolous nonsense and charades.

TruhhurTs you know very little about this kind of situation and very little about the mindset of someone who is being victimized. She didn't deserve that kind of treatment and the reason the Dolphins had to pay her off is because, ultimately, that behavior was unwanted or uninvited.

This entire organization is weak. Other teams have big issues as well, and this crap makes national news.

Please move out of Miami while were at it? K?!

Bodine, that's all well and good but Incognito came to the Dolphins with red flags sewn all over his uniforms and street clothing. If Philbin- supposedly strongly concerned about character issues- would have cut him for embarrassing the franchise over the golf incident, the team wouldn't be dealing with the Martin-Incognito situation today. Bad judgement, IMHO.

An unemployed woman has time to volunteer at golf event but not look for a job? Last I knew that's not how you find work if you're really looking for a job. How much alcohol was involved? How does anyone know she got paid off? Was there a record of that.

I'm guessing these kinds of incidents with women happen all the time with players in all the leagues. I don't understand how women throw themselves at NFL players, musicians or anyone with cash? You people ever heard of groupies? Like I said this didn't happen in a second. So I'll just suppose that it was mutual at least for some of it.

There is a very well written article in the San Jose Mercury that provides great perspective in this whole situation without indicting anyone. If you're interested, you can find it in Google news today.


Would the Ravens had won two SB's had they cut Ray Lewis? Would the Giants have won those SB's had they cut LT? Does Eli have as many rings if Plaxico isn't there to make the game winning catch?

Do you think Butkus and Nitchke and Jack Lambert and Joe Greene were any nicer than Cogs?

I think the media and it's politically correct agenda has softened and manipulated you. The only way you get a league of so called 'Philbin Type Players' is to turn the NFL into flag football. Otherwise just by the very nature of the game, more often than not it will be the meanest bad boys performing the best....and make no mistake, teams, all teams want to win at all costs, as long as it doesn't tarnish the public image of their team.

It's a double edged sword for them, because every team has to gamble on Cog's type players or they will never rise to the top.

It's a rough game by rough people, many of which hadn't been raised with exactly the highest moral standards. Welcome to the NFL...21st century version of Roman Gladiators.

TruthhurTs, I can appreciate what you are saying, even though it strikes me as devilishly close to "blame-the-victim". I think it's all on Incognito. He's the one responsible for his own behavior.

After all, do fans really want to see this kind of behavior in public from players on their favorite team? Does the community at large have to shy away from or fear players in public settings? Do other players want to be thought of as "an Incognito" because they are pro football players? I think the obvious answer is a resounding NO!

I smell a win for the winless Bucs. I suspect all these distractions have seriously limited meaningful focus on the practice field.

On the upside, maybe all this bad press,looming law suits, and NFL fines will make Ross throw his hands up and sell the team and God willing to someone with the desire and knowledge to actually move us in the right direction...

BC 7:34

I think you are being naive. It's not that anyone condones that behavior, but the reality is, most NFL players weren't raised by Queen Elizabeth. Many were raised in a far different world than you or I, where mean and tough equaled survival.

'This kind of behavior' as you say is nothing new. There have always been a significant percentage of players like that. It is only amplified more than ever in the age of information. What stories get amplified is unpredictable, and many are missed. It's like there is never just one cockroach in your home.

Bodine, I can't reasonably disagree with what you are saying. The NFL has long valued talent over principles. My point was that if Philbin, had he stuck to his principles, would not have the team in this position today.

You said, "all teams want to win at all costs, as long as it doesn't tarnish the public image of their team." Agreed. But this HAS backfired on the team. And that's the point- bad judgement on the part of those in position to make the decisions. Can't allow this to keep happening.

You want to go back to the age of secrets and conspiracies, Bodine? You should know there is no turning back.

Bodine, about the 7:34 comment: I stand by it- nothing you said justifies that behavior. It's at the very least an embarrassment to the player; his teammates; the Dolphins; the NFL; and most reasonable human beings. It's a tragedy for the victim.

Mando won't be happy till philbin gets fiired.

Actually, it was the alledged perpetrator himself who put it out for everybody to see by sending his tweets to JMartin. A valuable lesson for All.

For a team that, in reality, does not have any true connection to Miami, it would probably be better if they left the area for good. The management and ownership of this team is the reason the franchise has gone downhill. First it was the ineptitude of Huizenga and now the utter incompetence of Ross that has led to the downfall of this once proud franchise. They are a stain on our community.

The fact is management (the front office), past and present, chose these players to represent our community. The philosophy employed by ownership and management has not been a good fit for the reputation of the franchise nor our community.

I truly hope they leave soon and stop this insanity. Perhaps pro wrestling will take Incognito, Pouncey and Ireland. Pro wrestling might be a better fit for their personalities but they certainly do not belong on the Dolphins or as representatives of our community.

In any story all sides must be considered. I don't see both sides here and that's what needs considered. If it was criminal then why didn't the witnesses call the police? So all these people just allowed it to happen and event security was absent too?

The alleged "victim" and I use that term loosely...because I'm not at all convinced that she is states in the report I want an apology. BUT..if that is the case you call the police? Is that what they do ask people apologize? Sounds like horse crap to me.

Do you guys want to know why we don't win?
THIS is why we don't win!
Because it's EVERYTHING we're NOT.


Bodine,I agree with most of what you are saying,but I must point out that for every PacMan Jones in the NFL there is a Peyton Manning. For every Lawrence Taylor,there is a Drew Brees. For Every Richie Incognito there is a Jason Taylor. I think you get my point. It is a tough sport,but not all players come from the ghetto. The culture is not a whole lot different in the NBA,or MLB. It is entertainment and this mess will also be forgotten. Hopefully sooner than later.

Frick, Herald. Link doesn't work when posted.

My friends, Google:
'A Football Life': The 17-0 season.

A short, 5 minute video of everything the Fins are not.

The biggest factor in this entire scenario is the fact that Cogs was known league wide for being a problem child. We took him on knowing that fact, but the coaching staff did nothing to curtail his bad behavior. That is blatantly obvious. When we jettisoned most of the team's leadership this last off season Gogs was left to roam freely in the locker room without any one to pull back his reins if he got out of hand. This entire ordeal was the fault of the staff and not anyone else. The whistle blowing aside, which I thought was cowardly and completely self serving was not the biggest blunder made by this staff.

The failure by to control Cogs by upper management and coaching did us in with this Martin-gate. We were set up by a sly individual who couldn't cut it in the pros and is now going to walk away a very rich man and leave this franchise in shambles when all the smoke clears.

Ireland, Philbin, and the entire coaching staff will get their walking papers at seasons end, you can bet on that. When the NFL has completed its "independent" investigation there will be sacrifices from top to bottom to appease the public and the media. The NFL will make an example out of anyone or anything that brings unfavorable light onto the brand.

You all should read this article.
I bet the author did more investigative work about Incognito than either Philbin or Ireland ever did. With such rap sheet how on earth wasn't Ireland more diligent by keeping tabs with a guy that has been a cancer just about everywhere he's been is unforgivable.

And Mr. Double Standard Philbin must get the axe asap for turning the other cheek when this in incedent occurred. What an arse of a head coach this guy turned out to be, the guy can't even do a speech without Aponte's cue cards, I mean seriously?! Aponte should be gone too, really everybody but Ross I guess. Every day this keeps going with no team measures the more the brand is goint straight down the toilet.

Don't worry Ecto...heads are going to roll, its just a matter of time.

So we've all jumped to the conclusion that the team didn't report the golf incident to the NFL? and they're also are responsible for monitoring the personal texts of players. And yet while Philbin was not here when Cogs was brought in and signed a big contract he's responsible for all of his problem child behavior? Wasn't Fatcells making these decisions along Sparano? I see a lot of convenient memories here to support your positions.

Anybody else see the report and look at the fact she was unemployed, she waited 8 hours to report the incident, and now it comes out again because she probaby wants more dough?

Oscar...nope..I don't want secrecy. Let it all come out. Let technology morph us into Vulcans that are incapable of lying.

The philosophy that has failed the Dolphins came from Parcells and has been implemented by Ireland. These are folks who look at human systems as mechanisms, machines with interchangeable parts. If a player fits their formula for height, weight, speed, etc then they will consider that player for a team. If he does not then he is out. Where this philosophy fails is they are dealing with old fashioned notions of what works and what doesn't. It is their philosophy that is damaged. The world and management has evolved past a simple mechanistic conception of human processes. You are not simply dealing with interchangeable parts that can be strung together and then ignore the human factors involved in making a team today. The results don't meet the needs of todays NFL nor the community in which the organization operates. Now combine that mechanistic conception with lawless behaviors, a Fixed Noise Mindset, and folks of low character and what you get is the Dolphins of 2013... qed

NFL will end up taking the Dolphins 2014 first round draft pick over all this. At least you have the Heat to enjoy down there for one more year.

Yeah I can see where you are coming from @ 8:35, but we certainly are not the only franchise in the league that follow that flawed system, are we ?


No we are not the only one. But when you compare the franchises that do well with the ones that don't its the results that matter. Carroll in Seattle, the Harbaughs, Fox in Denver, Johnson and Shula when they were here are examples of folks who are willing to adjust their philosophies to meet the times they are operating in. When you have myopic management that refuses to look at its own practices then you see a downward spiral in the results ... and its the results, on and off the field, that matter.

Recently suspended offensive lineman Richie Incognito was investigated last year for harassing a volunteer at the Miami Dolphins' annual golf tournament by allegedly molesting her with a golf club, according to Aventura, Fla., police.

The original police report states that the alleged incident happened at the Turnberry Resort & Club in Aventura, but no charges were filed against Incognito.

The 34-year-old volunteer told police Incognito had been drinking and was "acting very inappropriate towards her," and that she went to police after Incognito said he wouldn't apologize.

The report states that the volunteer told police that Incognito "used his golf club to touch her by rubbing it up against her vagina, then up her stomach then to her chest. He then used the club to knock a pair of sunglasses off the top of her head.

"After that, he proceeded to lean up against her buttocks with his private parts as if dancing, saying 'Let it rain! Let it rain!'" the report states. "He finally finished his inappropriate behavior by emptying bottled water in her face."

Mando won't be happy till philbin gets fiired.
Posted by: donald shoeman | November 09, 2013 at 08:07 AM

Same with all Fin fans. Philbin and Ireland are a joke.


We should be very concerned that Jeff Ireland will have his fill of this entire scandal and move on to a more ethical franchise. We all know how respected he is in NFL circles. If we lose Jeff Ireland, what in the world will we do?

Get better, thats what we will do.

Agreed but... Please find the substitutes before firing whoever. Possibly a better substitute.
Schiano maybe? Should be available. Shanahan? Uhm, another man from Cowboys?
Not so easy, eh? Buildin is harder.

If Mando gets Philbin fired then Ill send you your Christmas present early.

Mando and I had an arguement on 790 The Ticket during Cam Camerons reign. I was calling for his head at 0-7 Mando stated Bill Walsh and JJ were horrible in their first seasons.

There are times when fans get a terrible feeling from the coach. the way they talk to players and their coaching mind set.

Philbin will be shown to be a liar and an apologist for players being victimized beyond a joke.

Ritchie Incognito is No Saint. But neither is J.Martin.

J.Martin needs to speak.

All Good Coaches are Great Liars.


Saw your comments from yesterday's blog.....have no worries...I saw what you saw...yesterday was a day off.....I don't come to the sight much I'm not @ work.....this is more of a job past time...then a hobby....

Especially if I am gonna have to defend myself from irrational posters...that would be a waste of a day off...I like to debate....but I can tell when the deck is stacked....you don't have to be Ray Charles to see that he was making up names to Agee with himself....I still don't understand that mentality.....but....to each his own....

Aside from a few morning post...you won't hear much from me until Tuesday....

Matteo...the franchise is already handicapped with this latest fiasco, firing the staff is the least of our problems at the present. The possible expulsion of the ownership is what I am more concerned about right now. Don't think for a second this can't be done. Ross could be forced to sell the franchise and if that happens then all bets are off.


Ireland has said and done nothing, pathetic.

When any large brand experiences a major cockup then the GM will go before the world and face the music, not little Jeff.

Ireland has shown himself to be the true Ball Boy he really is. There is no leadership at this club. The employment structure here is job s for the boys, old friends giving each other deals regardless of abilty.

The franchise is rotten to the core. No wonder so many fans love the Dolphins but hate the regime. We need a revolution.

the most entertaining man on the blog....

Bar none....

Man so ready to see the team on the field. Can we just play and forget all this overblown conjecture and media hype already? The only thing more boring than off the field issues is watching the grass grow on the field but just barely.

Enough already! Let's move on to Tampa Bay and our remaining 8 games!

How can an owner be forced to sell the franchise ?

This has never been done as far as I know. It would take forever to go through the courts and bring the NFL down with it.

The Miami Dolphin spirit can still inspire this club.

All those old 1972 Dolphins should start hanging out a the club more, attending games and training sessions.

Im sure when players see Ireland and Ross wandering round the facility they feel terrible.

Ectoplasm @ 8:20....

Great link....

That showed was a very insightful read....and about as balanced as one can hope to get.....

Nothing good can come of any of this....

Yeah we have the Bucs Monday night and a win will start a band aid over the club, but this issue should and could at least see the GM replaced with a guy that can do the job.

Give me a break. If a story that is detrimental to the team or the NFL doesn't get out to the media, AND the player is considered valuable, the team, virtually every team, will keep it quiet and conduct business as usual. Chad Johnson's story was public, it couldn't be covered up. Incognito's was kept from the media. If it can be covered up or justified, it is. If it can't, the player is axed. That's the reality. Tell me that there aren't covered up instances of spousal abuse, harassment, assault, or other off field, off "duty" incidents on multiple other NFL teams that wouldn't otherwise cause a sh*t storm if they were made public ... and you aren't living in reality.

That said, I have a major problem with the Incognito incident with the woman on the golf course. If true, would have sent him packing. The internal Martin/Incognito saga is not parallel. It's BS unless one believes that NFL culture should and must imitate real life ... in which case, the NFL ceases to be the NFL.

I am saying it could happen...no one ever said it couldn't. This is a franchise, not a private entity. The franchise has to uphold the values of the brand. This scandal has brought world wide embarrassment to the brand. I know if one of my franchise locations were involve in such a scandal as this they would pull my flag in a second. No brand, no franchise, it is as simple as that. I mean the NFL could possibly remove their backing of the offending franchise, this sort of thing could set a president across the league.

I support the firing of no one on this team. I see little evidence of any wrong doing by Cogs, Ireland and Philbin. I see a lot of anti Ireland bias, troll fodder and conjecture. The locker room culture speculation coming from people that were never part of an NFL locker room. There's a good chance nothing happens and Cogs gets to come back this year. Let this investigation facts roll and get us all back to football.

I just don't like the hypocrisy of Joe Philbin and Jeff Ireland so they know about this incident and sweeps this under the rug?? Philbin has said he want men of character yet he lets Cogs runs the locker room not the best character guy.

We gave away Brandon Marshall for 2 3 rd picks to sign Mike Wallace who isn't half the WR Marshall is.

Trade away Vontae because of his character issues??

Let Bush walk while D Thomas is still on the team?? Are I kidding me how many times will all of us say Thomas sucks before the Dolphins realize???

We could of B Marshall Reggie Bush Lamar Miller on the field at the same time!! Tell me that wouldn't be a potent offense?!

Sorry I think Philbin stuck with his "white" buddy Cogs while looking down at the blk players with character issues!!

I want Philbin and Ireland fired and its been a long time coming

Someone suggested Pileoi takes over I agree look at the defense he built the Cheifs though guys were all drafted by Pileoi.

Fire the racist pig Philbin and Iteland ASAP!

Truthhurts is absolutely right. Any criticism of Jeff Ireland on this blog is bias, troll fodder, and conjecture. Look at the record Jeff Ireland has put together, the great drafts, the amazing trades. How could any sane person criticize the man?

You know TruthhurTs...I want to get back to football just as bad as you, but this scandal effects everything. I want heads to roll I want the franchise to get back to normalcy, this will not happen until this investigation is finished. I am interested as to the how this mess will sort out. Football will take care of itself, the games will be played, but the shadow of this scandal will continue to be a cancer throughout this season and will effect every aspect of this organization and the league. SImply wishing it away will not change a thing.

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