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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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jeffrey david, what the Dolphins need is a "should have won" statistic. If we could add these to games we actually won, the personnel decisions of Jeff Ireland would look even that much better.


It was just some unemployed black woman. Nothing to see here. She was probably a prostitute anyways.

I can tell Salguero is having a hard time with this story. He is finally coming to terms with what I've been saying all along.

Ross and Ireland are racists.

I welcome the facts of this investigation and think Martin will regret playing it out this way. He has much to lose and has damaged himself incredibly. He could have just left it at I had an emotional break down due to the pressure. But chose the different more shallow self serving path.

Ireland and Philbin will be fired because of their own incompetence. There is no one to blame but themselves.

Everyone is a racist.

Some admit it.

Some don't.

Every time a player "trash talks" another player at the line of scrimmage, it is "bullying". The very act of playing football is "bullying".

Watch a basketball player back his way to the hoop. Is that "bullying"? Labron James is the biggest "bully" I know.

We love it when "our team" intimidates and bullies "their team". It is human nature for us to condone "bullying" when it suits our agenda. Policemen are paid "bullies", they are supposed to intimidate bad guys and arrest them if they are bad.

Anyone who plays, watches, enjoys or makes money from team sports has no right to condemn Ritchie Incognito.

And, any woman who volunteers to "attend a hole" on a golf course being played by a bunch of "bullies" should expect to have her ego and vagina assaulted.

Ross will have to pay for his staffs total incompetence. Bout time.

There are penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct FOR A REASON!!

I know someone like Martin. she always thinks people are picking on her just because they don't see things the same ay and gets very defensive. you can't take down an entire organization because of a person like this. the Dolphins did nothing cruel accept bad language. Martin is too sensitive for the NFL.

I also want to comment on the "racist" comments being made by some posters.

When the NE Patriots line up on offense, count the number of black arms you see. Eighty percent of the players are white. Since most players in the league are black, do you think that is a coincidence?

When our team is like that, complain. Until then, believe your eyes and shut your pie hole.

Clearly, Incognito is a real bad apple.

Football used to be if you let the guy beat you mentally and physically, he has every right to your job and you get cut. Now you cry to your momma and will get paid more than any other lineman in the game.

This is why Asia is taking everything over. Too too soft

What is this pile on Richie week. Give it s break...we know the guy gets drunk and acts poorly. He's a football player not a choir boy. I know you don't care but you trying to sell a story is possibly killing a man's career. As a union official I have represented employees in a few of these harassment charges. What is key to this case is Martin never told Richie he was making him feel uncomfortable. Plus the behavior in the case is not uncommon in a NFL locker room. So taking into consideration the predominant culture in the NFL it will be very hard to verify these accusations. Is Richie Incognito a bad boy yes...but a bad is veryuch needed in this game.

12 Years A Dolphin

Starring Stephen Ross, Jeff Ireland, Richie Incognito and a bunch of black football players.

So my buddy from work just sent me a nasty text message because I didn't accept his lousy fantasy football trade offer (true story). Guess since this is an office league, unsanctioned but higher ups turn a blind eye, I should sue my buddy as well as my employer. This whole thing is a pretty slippery slope if you ask me.

Off topic, best wishes to Super Duper. I feel sorry for newer Dolfans who missed the Marino/Marks Bros era. Frankly, based on recent history I'm not sure why there would be any newer fans.

Outstanding article in todays paper

Seriously, Great work


Time for Cowher and Marino to march in and take over this franchise

Fire them all - Jeff, Joe, Mike and Jim

Cowher and Marino please save this tarnished losing franchise

I bet the same Dolphins who are sticking up for Incognito are the same ones at that golf event. The same ones who did nothing when Richie sexually assaulted a woman.



Only cowards put up with an Incognito. Jonathan Martin is a hero exposing the dispicable conditions in the Miami Dolphin organization.

How can anyone be a fan of this franchise? SMH

Alas & alack we're stuck with Ross for better or for worse or for L. A.
Huizenga took him to the cleaners on the sale..... Fins r the rare example of a franchise worth less now than wben bought. BUT we can and should fire Casper the Coach and the glorified Ball Boy.

Mando wants every coach replaced by coaches who will talk to him.

I really do mean this in the whole hearted way, some of you people with the comments are just UTTERLY ridiculous. HAHA get it?

How can anyone be a fan of this franchise? SMH

Posted by: Nat Moore | November 09, 2013 at 01:17 PM

Because, not everyone is a stinking lousy smelly jets fan. That's why.

Hey Molotov, guess what? You are wrong about that.

dolphins TODAY HAS ;;;;;;;;
3-RACIST PLYER ........
4-CORN BEEF HC .........


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.

Posted by: Marco | November 09, 2013 at 11:02 AM


Ireland seems to have this nasty little habit of leaving Dolphin head coaches hanging out to dry...

Looks like the coach squashed this speculation quickly


CBS-4's @coolpapa654 says media is camped outside Jonathan Martin's parent"s house in L.A. Says multiple networks and TMZ are there


Your media friends better be careful...

This may fall under the Martin family definition of harassment .

You know...I dont even read this dumbarses articles anymore...I just scroll to the bottom and see what you nimrods are talking about...

Philbin released a statement saying he was aware and the team dealt with it and it was handled internally...next try?

Just reported by PFT that the Miami Dolphins reported it to the NFL, great job doing your research Armondo!

What's your next blind slander piece?! Can't wait!

If I beat you at checkers and talk smack, am I bullying you?

Ha Ha..Despacio...WOW. No way. Makes the whole article a moot point. I think Mando wants to get his press pass revoked. Just us give us the facts and let us real fans come up with our own opinions.


Home notice ur losing a lil hair,getting gray and the vision is going

Most notable u r wearing ur pants very high like the folks at the retirement center, Century Village


Yes, that story was "snatched" from Mando's grip.

Extortion, death threats, and racism, is far more than "talking smack"....just so you know.

I find it hard to believe that at the end Steven Ross does not clean house from Aponte on Down! Look for Mike Sherman to be interim HC for what ever remaining games we have left on the schedule. Once the season ends, Sherman gets his walking papers too!

This organization will need to do damage repair not just as an organization nationally, but to its' fan base too! Bring in Dan Marino and make him Sr. VP of Football Operations. Then, get the best HC we can and make him HC/GM! Maybe we can convince Cowher to come down? Rumor has it he is waiting to take over HC/GM for the Giants? In any event, Ross cleans house, you can take it to the bank!

Who can prove that Cogs messages were not a sick twisted joke sent privately to his budddy at the time? You aren't really going to take those literally are you? I don't at all...guys talk that way when women aren't around. I take absolutely none of it seriously. It's just smack talk between guys nothing more. Good luck proving that's bullying in a court. He's only got like 50 witnesses in the locker room that are on Cogs side.

Marino can't manage his own zipper. How do you expect him to manage the Dolphins?

No doubt death threats in the NFL have to be taken seriously. See Aaron Hernandez, Ray Lewis, etc.

BREAKING NEWS, from WQAM. Freeman and Fox just said that Armando Salguero is a.......Eagles Fan!!

Did Aaron and Ray actually threaten those people before they killed them? That would have been dumber than usual.

More of me and less of you pretend fans is a good thing. You guys are as laughable as Martin. I've heard guys at work say all kinds things about each others Mom and crap like that...Not sure how many times in my life I've heard people say I'm going to kill you. Cogs was a prankster and liked to tease everyone but it's quite a leap to call those death threats. But that's what overblown media hype is taking it as far as you can go.

When Bill Cosby said to his kid; "I brought you into this world, I can take you out", it was the funniest thing I ever heard. What happened to that?

Jonathan Martins career should not have to be sacrificed because of a bad apple on his team. Ireland and Philbin allowed this horrendous conduct.

The much bigger news is that the QB sux you morons eh?

Home = ALoco and about 4 other. Go back to the SS HOME!!!!!!!!!!!!

Philbin, no-no-no, t6his squarely on Ireland/Ross. Ireland's gm. Ross is owner. This lady was SECRETLY paid off, both Ireland/Ross signed off on this, and with a GAG order.

This shows what a mess this franchise has become from top to bottom. Goodell needs to get his NFL lawyers together and come up with a way to force Ross to sell.

Clearly, there was a CRIME committed here, and from the VERY TOP, Ross COSPIRED to cover it up.

Incognito was supposedly the "veteran lynchpin" of the OL line. Vegas, sexual harrassment, drunken antics, voicemails...no wonder the OL is an embarrassment seemingly looking to get their QB killed. The guy is a clown and a buffoon and they'll improve instantly without him, watch.

Philbim as a HC is exactly what he was when they hired him: a second-rate, "safe" choice you "settle" on rather than covet. And Ireland? Just look at the roster, no further comment needed.

What a farce this franchise has become. From the very top, to the very bottom. Now, the owner/gm are conspiring to cover up crimes and criminal behavior.

If the coaches told Incognito to "toughen Martin up" then he may have a lawsuit aganst the Dolphins also....

The Dullfins are doin more covering up than Watergate!!

Hopefully this is the seed that spawns the beginning of the NFL placing pressure on Steven Ross to sell the team. Obviously Ross is an idiot, so, getting rid of Ireland or Philbin would still be like placing a bandaid over a compound fracture.

LOL, like Nixon in Watergate, maybe the NFL can begin IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS against ROSS too.

Yes Ross should take his loss and get out.

Wonder if there's anything in NFL bylaws that allows them to impeach and owner(ROSS)?









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