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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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And the jets were suppose to be the circus this year.....

How could we be what we are without Jeff Ireland?

The Dolphins try to hide EVERYTHING. Didnt Ross say they'd be more transaparent and fan friendly? WTF?

Truth. How are you Truth when you provide nothing but negative opinion and silly what ifs. What hypocrisy? Kind of like you being on Phins page and wanting guys fired from our team before having all the facts. It blows my mind that you would call anyone a racist pig with no evidence. Therefor, I must conclude you are a troll.

Think about it, that's a great point!

The Jets are laughing at us.


Sorry...when it comes to breaking the law all sides have a right to be heard...not considered.

If I break into someone's house, I have a right to explain why I did it, but I will still be punished.
If I shoot someone while stealing their car, I can"explain myself". But I broke the law regardless.

You are confusing a defense with the punishment. My reasons for committing an act are less important when deciding my guilt...but become more important during sentencing.

Sorry if that truth hurts


Has Irescum resigned yet?

Another link that some may find interesting...others will be totally turned off by it....


Ireland and the Dolphins have that racist reputation going back to that Dez Bryant debacle. Ireland should've been fired then. Now white players are using the N word. And didnt Ross alieanate the Latin community when he berated the Latin politicians in his charity quest? Its a wonder anyone buys a ticket to this corrupt circus.

Realize we would never be where we are today without GM Jeff and rookie HC 3-CPO.


You know this may only be a hypothetical, but man just imagine if this sort of thing did actually happen to a team. I could imagine this happening to the Dolphin franchise and yes other owners have been forced out of the league and just in the past 10 years...

"Other NFL owners have been forced to give up their teams in the face of scandal. Victor Kiam sold his share of the Patriots in 1992 when facing bankruptcy, and Leonard Tose was forced to sell the Eagles because of a gambling debt almost a decade earlier."

How can anyone be a fan of this team?

Truthhurts, Truth tells no lies. Philbin got rid of all the leaders from last year council leaving a knucklehead in Cogs to run the lockeroom. It's obvious Cogs isn't that great of a guy! If he wants high character dude why keep Cogs after alledglley sexually harassment a women in his always druken state. Philbin is a racist hypocrite plain and simple.

Seems like the team does discriminate against blacks and latins and women. And then totally ignores the discrimination.

Sounds to me like the jock sniffers who cover the Dolphins (Mando, Omar, Hyde, etc.)dropped the ball in this case. Where were you guys when this happened blowing it all of proportion and thereby "forcing" the Dolphins and/or the NFL to react? Ben Roethlisberger RAPED two girls and was suspended for 4 games - Leonard Little killed a mother of 3 and a wife and played the NEXT WEEK. All this is one big yawn if you think we care about another NFL player running afoul of the law.

Homers are grasping a straws to defend a man that assaulted a woman. If he killed someone, you'd expect these same homers to find ANY excuse to defend him.

This team & it's fan base are the joke of the world.

Listen - Cogs is an animal - no one is disputing this but to ask how anyone can be a fan of this team? Take a look through a Dolphin Digest once in a while you douchebag- there are players on this team that spend time at hospitals and are involed in all types of charities helping children, etc. Don't paint with a broad brush. The NFL culture is all about winning and these coaches and GMs will always go right up to the line if they feel someone can help them win. Why isn't anyone asking why Bellicheat didn't know what was going on with Aaron Hernandez? If he did know and didn't do anything about it - then he's wrong. If he didn't know, then he doesn't know what is going on with his players - sound familiar? The reason no one questioned the Pats is because THEY WIN.

For those Neanderthals who still think the manly thing to do for Martin was to punch Cogs, please are you forgetting sports lockers are abound with guns. The Phins alone have a murderer BFF who just got subpoena for arms trafficking. And let's not forget the incident inside the Wizards locker room between Gilbert Arenas and I forget who that almost scaled to a full blown Wild West shootout that ultimately cost the career of bith players and still has that piss poor franchise still as bottom dwellers since.

With all that said I still do not blame Incognito, he is who he is BUT the organization has a lot of questions that need to be answered. That is where the bulk of the blame lies, no question about that. If it may be true that Martin is not suit up to be an NFL player (which I seriously doubt anyway go ask a true leader like Andrew Luck instead of the idiot we ended up with ad consolation prize in Tannehill) then Incognito perhaps is not more suited either and belongs in wrestling or a correctional facility.

Man is this team rotten or what. Not a single player showed an ounce of sympathy for Martin, I was speechless, where was the PR department to tell this guys to shut up! The GM will be gone, no new GM will keep Ireland's coach no way. And Aponte must be fired st the same time Ireland gets the boot. Not only that, a massive player purge is likely ahead and then the team will potentially look to fill many, many positions of relevance inside the team, including potentially QB because a new, responsible and experienced front office and coaching staff will post serious questions about Tannehill's leadership skills.

Bottom dwellers for the foreseable future, and please don't cheer this group of idiots (from top to bottom) to win one more game, you have to know this team is going nowhere but could indeed win a few more games but please for the love of God do you really want another 7-9, 8-8 season???!!! Fire Ireland and Philbin (with Sherman) and put an interim coach in charge (the TEs one comes to mind).

What laws have been broken? Are you pretend fans like police, judge and jury? I have heard that it happened but it doesn't make it illegal if she was willing. Her statement is complete hogwash. I want an apology. Pfft

I understand how many can be fans of the Shula, Griese, and Marino years. But this regime? Its a never ending nightmare. Dont understand how anyone could be a fan of this.

I am an Neanderthal that thinks a man can stand up for himself. BUT that was not the case. I don't believe it was...it's my opinion he quit then blamed Cogs. So there.

The whole situation sucks. Cogs is getting roasted in the media and league because some idiot nobody who hasn't accomplished S%#T in the NFL has betrayed and turned on him. sad. Where the hell is J. Long; speak up Jake!

More hypocrites.

The NFL covered up misdeeds and is now investigating the Dolphins?

Who's investigating the NFL?

Come one, come all to the greatest witch hunt on earth, led by the most unbelievable hypocrites who ever lived.

It's Saturday and the children are out in full force. Terrible posts, I'm out.

The sad truth is that just because Jon Martin decided he didn't want to play football any longer - its going to cost Philbin and Ireland their jobs and the Dolphins a lot of money.

Hard to believe this was one of the premier franchises way back when. As I've said before, Philpin is a glorified high school coach.

Fatty Parcells has it right. I already posted this but apparently the blog police didn't like it.

The NFL has become a bigger joke everyday. Goodell should step down for the good of the league. The NFL is so full of double standards it's pathetic. A political machine that can't be stopped. It picks it's spots and ignores the same treatment of the icons that would detrimental to the popularity of the game. i.e. Bretty Farve showing off his privates and sending suggestive text messages to a reporter. The story came and went... no detailed investigation that I am aware of... because it was Brett Farve. Cogs is a common thug so he is made an example of.

The game has been watered down to it's lowest level in its proud history. Careful where you hit a guy, change the rules to discourage kickoff returns because guys get hurt, squelch the player's personalities as much as possible because it may be offensive to some. The game is an economic machine and Goodell, at all costs, will tweak and micromanage the game that has turned into the National Folly League.

Total BS and the media just does it job selling newspapers and advertising by over-sensationlizing every story thrown their way. Pathetic and the fans get the shaft in the end, as usual

That was actually Kris' old lady on the golf course

The sad truth is that just because Jon Martin decided he didn't want to play football any longer - its going to cost Philbin and Ireland their jobs and the Dolphins a lot of money.
Posted by: Fatty Parcells | November 09, 2013 at 10:52 AM

Nah, its because of dispicable Incognito the jackass

the children are out in full force. Terrible posts, I'm out.

Posted by: Phins78 | November 09, 2013 at 10:51 AM

And do you actually believe your posts are any better? You are a dumb, whining, clueless idiot that acts like a child far more often than you realize.

The NFL locker room has adopted and evolved into a prison mentality. It isn't right. Knock Martin all you want, he went about it his own non-violent way and in the end is going to be respected for standing up to the early criticism and belittling of him.

I truly beleive that Cogs thought that he and Martin were friends. I think this blind-sided him and this explains why all the players are like "What the hell?!" we thought these two were friends and now all the sudden there's a problem? I just don't know why Martin couldn't have said - Richie, I need to talk toyou in private - "Listen man, tone down the way you talk to me and act with me. I like you as a friend but I'm alittle uncomfortable." I'm sure Richie would have been OK with that. WHY DIDN'T HE JUST ADDRESS THIS ISSUE WITH HIS FRIEND? I don't get it.

This is all on Ireland.

I don't know is he is racist, or if he told Martin to punch out RI. I do know that Ireland during this whole debacle has kept his mouth shut and left Philbin out to dry and answer for the mess.

Philbin has stated he will address any findings that the NFL discover from their report. Too little to late, your job as coach is to be in control of your locker room and deal with issues like this.

It looks bad on Hartline, Wake, Clabo, Wallace, Tannehill and others to talk so highly of RI when he clearly stepped over the line with Martin. They have made themselves look so dumb. If the report could make them all look to be as bad as RI, guilty by association.

Until you know the shot keep your mouth closed.

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.
- Truthhurt's

Are you criticizing the woman for volunteering while being unemployed?
If that's the case, that may be the stupidest thing I've ever read on here, and that's saying a lot.
Someone volunteering while unemployed should be applauded. They are finding a productive use of their time. It provides a chance to feel worthwhile when your situation may not be ideal.
And if that notion is to abstract for you, it also could be useful in finding a job - it can be seen as networking. At times when I was looking for work I can;t tell you how many people suggested such volunteer work for primarily that reason.

Hi WashPhinFan! Would you wash me? I would love a new friend. I can be very good friends if you wash my privates. ;) I love you and miss you.

I'm confused about a few things. Doesn't the NFL, in it's multi-billion dollar organization, have an ombudsman, human resources department or something of the sort? That's where I would go if I were being harassed at work and didn't feel comfortable going to my boss. And why did Martin keep a voicemail from spring, only to be played now? A professional athlete probably gets dozens of voice mails a day but he kept that one? What's the endgame for Martin lawyering up and going public with all this?

Surely an educated man such as Martin who "loves the game" as much as he allegedly does must realize going public with this and the ensuing collateral damage will ostracize him even more in future NFL locker rooms. What am I missing here?

623...he was never planing on coming back. He will end up scuttling the franchise and walking out of the game with a boat load of money. He has nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Wow. This is BANG UP reporting Mandy. Not only does it add ZERO new information, quotes, or sources, we now have a CONSPIRACY. I'm sure that none of the other teams "cover up" their player's questionable actions.

Furthermore, this has ZERO relevance on what's going on.

I'm sure Richie would have been OK with that. WHY DIDN'T HE JUST ADDRESS THIS ISSUE WITH HIS FRIEND? I don't get it.

Because Martin is well educated and knew there was a bullying story to be had. It's the sexy topic of the day in the media. Not sure if he was influenced by his parents, agent, lawyer.. but at the end of day he made the decision to leave the team. I have ZERO respect for the way he handled the situation. He is a selfish SOB that could care less about the consequences that affected anyone but himself. He should just retire from the NFL now because the NFL or ESPN would be happy to hire him in the studio. He will be portrayed as the hero that stood up against bullying in the NFL. Hooray for the hero! That's what the media has become these days. So glad I chose a different career path

I hear that they are both in LA this weekend tvegas...maybe a little reconciliation is on the agenda.

I had 2 thoughts reading your latest blog Mando. First, does this have any impact on the Martin vs Dolphins/NFL? I don't know, I'm not a lawyer. Any lawyers in the crowd today?

Second, as far as collateral damage, it sure doesn't help Philbin and Ireland

You can't fire Philbin, his son died 22 months ago.

tvegas - I have never heard so many former players cry and whine on TV about - how could this happen? This wouldn't have happened when I was playing! Blah, blah, blah! NOTHING HAPPENED!! Richie thought Jonathan was his friend. All the sudden his friend flaked out on him and told his story to the media (or his attorney did or whatever). I think Richie and all the players were stunned, shocked, surprised and anything else you could think of because they thought they were friends also. YOU CAN'T ADDRESS SOMETHING THAT ISN'T THERE. Whay can't anyone understand this? I feel like I'm in bizarro world.

I'm sure Philbin and Ireland and whoever else saw these two guys eating lunch together, sitting together on the plane, busting up with the other players, etc. and never had a second thought about it. This is all about Martin flaking out on the team and people who thought they were his friend.

cocoajoe...the only impact this will have on this case is showing that Cogs exhibited a pattern of behavior that was less than desirable and yes it could be used in a civil suite. The media is doing a bang up job digging up evidence against Gogs for the Martin-Gate team.

Cogs will be lucky to find a job as a bag boy when this is all over with, considering he could be made to pay out big time money along with a major amount the franchise will have to pay out if in fact it gets that far, I doubt it will though. I am sure the league office will force Ross's hand to end this sideshow and pay Martin off just to make this thing go away.

EWash - I'm not sure why Ross hasn't travelled down that road already. I would have called Martin reps on Wednesday and said "Whats it going to cost to make your pu**y client go away forever."

Some of you are laughably naive or worse.

This is issue is going to be front and center...for months. RI is DONE. Ireland and coaches as well. They may not survive season depending on investigation timing.

Exactly Fatty, except Ross should have ponied up the hush money BEFORE anything came out.

Headlines would have been "Marin took a leave of absence." "Martin retires from football unexpectedly. He has no comment"

Chris. Hope so. The couldn't leave soon enough IMO. But, honestly, Fatty Parcells could be right. Depending on how much was seen or said to the coaching staff, or brought forward by the players, this could have been interpreted as no big deal by anyone but Martin.

Not sure anyone should have to pay dearly for that. THe ony thing I do know for sure is that Martin will be the benefactor of this because he is the "victim." That's how these things usually play out.

I could give a rats a** about either one of these players - the Dolphins were mediocre with them and can be withtout them. Incognito was gone after this year anyway. The only thing I care about is that Jonathan Martin never plays again. He broke the brother code and if he does play, he'll never be a real part of any team he plays for and thats the bottom line. Guys will avoid him like the plague in a locker room setting. Every room he walks into will suddenly go quiet. He brought this on himself and what comes around goes around.

Unless, of course Martin's camp tried to shake Ross down and he called their bluff. In which case, Ross made a bad move.

The truth is....you are a loser

Chris and tveg - now, if the coaches or players or Ireland had any inkling that Martin was bothered by Richie or saw anything, then all bets are off and everyone deserves what they get. But I think the players were genuinely stunned by this because they thought Richie and Jonathan were boys. I mean if the position coaches and/or trainers had no idea, then no one else did either. Jonathan just flaked on them...his reasons? Thats the $54,000 question.

The biggest problem I have is on ESPN they will ask some blowhard like Stephen A Smith - "IF the Dolphins knew about this, then how complicent are they?" Then the blowhard goes off for 4 minutes based on an ASSUMPTION that is probably not true. This is what chaps my a**.

Who knows what more garbage and dirt will come out from this team.
We cannot forget the Ireland-Bryant-Mother-Prostitute affair, that put the Dolphins in the spotlight long ago. This should've been a warning about the kind of GM hired by Ross. Now, we got what we harvest.
Yes, we all expect that Ireland be fired soon, and that this senile Ross sells the team in a very near future. Philbin is just a puppet of the Ross-Ireland infamous tandem. This fellow wont last much.
The team is just a joke right now. It's been so since Ross got the team.
A few players got character, most of them are just mediocre.at least half of them.

You know what?If the Dolphins had beat the Patriots,Bills and Ravens...which they should have...I bet you negative Nancy's would be singing a different tune.
Now, all off you want to gut the whole coaching staff and get rid of Ireland in the middle of the season,and when they lose 7 out of the next 8 games you'll be on here pissing and moaning about how they suck and can't wait till everybody gets fired again.
Wins is the only thing that can help the Dolphins now and if they do win I don't want to hear anybody crying about what happens in the locker room or off the field
Just man up and be a Dolphins fan like me

jeffrey david - I couldn't have said it any better myself. WIN SOME EFFING GAMES!! and this whole thing quietly fades away.

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