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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.

Comments

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Mandy called this article 'work'. Clearly he doesn't have an idea of what work is. Sloppy, lazy, and full of accusations based purely on speculation that he was not even trying to investigate. Unless you consider a call to the NFL for no comment work. Nothing from the team...typically I'm a fan of your work Mandy, but your coverage lately has been lacking and irresponsible...and the national outlets are killing it. Don't you have a single reliable source after 20 years?

Mando is banking on a regime change in Miami otherwise he will be cut out by his sources if they are coaches or head office staff.

Mando has burnt his bridges with Philbin and Ireland.

Poll of the day.
Z. Weak stupid worthless troll bandwagon morons like POLLSTER

THAT THE RIGHT ANSWER

Im going to the max here. If Incognito's lawyer can prove that his behaviour is because of CTE, then this whole thing goes back to the shield of the NFL.

If RI has signs of CTE, he gets a pass.

Ireland and Philbin don't they are either Liars or just incompetent.

"Phins owner Ross, after bringing Philbin on board, and having a good season start of 3-0 decided to re-sign dirty-dog Ireland. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that Philbin is being dictated to and is outnumbered by the Irelandites on the staff."

Now this comment I do believe. Ireland is hiding behind his coach and they will most certainly go down together when all is said and done. Negotiations are already on going to release Martin from his contract, pay him he would have maid if he completed his contract and waive him.

This would be the best course the owner can take in making this go away as soon as possible and I am sure that Martin and his crew will gladly except it simply because he wanted out anyway. Now he can have his cake and eat it too.

Cogs on the other hand is in for more than just a monetary beating, he will lose his job and will never be aloud in an NFL locker room again. His best bet would be to go to the Canadian league and see if they will give him a shot.

Canada wont take him WPN. His best bet is to go the way of reality TV trash star.

Do the rounds on chatshow circuit or many UFC, coming into the ring with his Dolphins Uniform on a golf club and Jeff Ireland as his manager that everyone in the stadium boo's, just like Sun Life.

lol...yeah Marco I was reaching just a bit on that one, however I wouldn't be completely surprised if the little visit to LA by Martin and Cogs had something to do with a settlement agreement. Nothing was said about who else was in town, but I would bet that Ross and a few other high ranking folks are there as well.

This golf tournament crime cover up has definitely sealed Cogs fate as being BLACKLISTED from the NFL. This cover up also in the very least cost Ireland his job if the NFL wasn't notified of this violation of conduct policy.

If indeed the NFL was notified and was part of the cover up. This indeed is a MAJOR BLACKEYE for the league as a whole.

The locker room stands with Cogs that he isn't a racist, but is it a COINCIDENCE many of his MISDEEDS come against BLACKS?

For good, bad or worse, this has come to stay and there is no turning back(like Internet). What to do? Adapt ourselves to the New Path.

Sam the NFL is a juggernaut and will more than likely shrug this off like they have done so many times before. They will throw a little money around, make some policy changes, fire a few sacrificial lambs and keep on trucking. The NFL is coated in teflon and will not be in the slightest bit harmed by this latest fiasco.

Does not affect Us in the least. We grew in Football under Don Shula and his mentor Paul Brown, who were highly ethical and serious Coaches, who were ahead of Times, and had no time to waste on primitive rituals and mores inside their ball clubs that might interfere with what they were hired to do, namely, Winning.

Watching Texas A&M with Manziel right now. He never takes snap underneath center. Could be a huge NFL issue.

Could he end up being just another "DOUG FLUTIE" in the NFL? Not taking snap under center in college buys slightly more time to make his reads. But, he isn't going to take SHOTGUN snaps in the NFL unless it's 2 minute offense.

There is no law against a golf club touching a woman's vagina.

I really don't think you can put this problem on Cogs. We are seeing this has been long standing NFL culture, prison culture..that is only beginning to surface now. Cogs may be the fall guy, but this is a culture that started decades ago.

Meaning, only beginning to surface in the general public now. Over the last week many hazing stories have come out from many teams, from decades ago to the current game. It sounds like lot's of worse stuff has been going on a long time. Martin just felt no need to deal with it anymore.

The shortage of oline talent is at an all time high in the NFL. Cogs and Martin will both be playing again. Bet on it.

I find it interesting Armando seems more eager to report from a negative light even while saying we shouldn't pass judgement until the facts are known.

We are better off without an Incognito.

I find it interesting Armando seems more eager to report from a negative light even while saying we shouldn't pass judgement until the facts are known.
Posted by: Kirk | November 09, 2013 at 05:18 PM

Cant be positive after 5 consecutive losing seasons. AND THEN THIS!

Rich Incognito is obviously mentally retarded. He took this WAY WAY too far. And the Dolphins sat back and allowed it. GEEZ!

This whole thing is nothing but a frivolous media frenzy. Martin didn't realize what he was signing up for. He no longer wanted to deal with the locker room culture so he left. His choice. Fine. Those voice mails read totally out of context. That is just the way they all talk to each other. Every one of these journalists knows it. The Walt Disney media feigns shock only to milk the story for every drop.

Much ado about nothing.

Incognito held OL meetings at a strip club?? WTF?? The team allowed that?

This is much to do about nothing. Half the players in he nfl have used their "status" to try to get women into bed. Not saying what he did was right, but sounds like she didn't complain much. With all the hardened criminals in the nfl (I.e. DUI manslaughter, killing dogs, etc.) I hardly think some name calling deserves this attention. This is locker room banter, and bashing the coaching staff is ludicrous. Let the media have its fun. Go play football and kick Tampa's butt!

But death threats are a whole new level.

Let's see, given two NFL teams...one that frequents strip clubs, one that doesn't...I know where my money goes.... Football is not for church boys who are taught that fun should not extend beyond bobbing for apples at a picnic.

What does this have to do with Martin? not a damn thing, I used to like most of your articles but it seems you have an agenda reaching for anything negative that you can get on this team in enquirer type fashion.

I really don't think you can put this problem on Cogs.

Posted by: Kirk | November 09, 2013 at 05:08 PM

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You sir are absolutely CORRECT!

COVERING UP the golf tourney event CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR and KNOWING about this CRIME and still ALLOWING COGS to be on a LEADERSHIP COUNCIL is absolutely INEXCUSABLE!

This is ENTIRELY on the HIERARCHY that exists within this now WRETCHED franchise. ROSS/IRELAND both should be absolutely ASHAMED of THEMSELVES.

They've played with fire(COGS) and not both have been burnt.

Wretched! Funny. Good word.

forbes.com/sites/prishe/2013/11/04/the-economics-of-the-jonathan-martin-scandal/

We made Forbes!

Eddie4fins, this article has absolutely EVERYTHING to do with the Martin situation. It ESTABLISHES a BEHAVIOR all the way up to the VERY TOP that fosters even CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR if it can be QUIETLY SWEPT underneath the rug.

It has everything to do with the Martin situation because HIERARCHY knew that COGS was a VERY SERIOUS PROBLEM, even a CRINAL PROBLEM, yet BLATANTLY choose to hide these facts even before the Martin situation became public.

It shows a SERIOUS LACK of INSTITUTIONAL CONTROL all the way up to the VERY TOP. It's Ross' money, he had to be aware his money was being spent to hide an OBVIOUSLY PERVERTED CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR. COGS should have been DISMISSED from the team as soon as hierarchy learned of this OBVIOUS CRIME.

Npt only wasn;t COGS dismissed, he was also allowed to retain his position on LEADERSHIP COUNCIL. Totally INEXCUSABLE BEHAVIOR b ROSS/IRELAND.

At what point do the fans and journalists finally realize nothing uttered from any coach or GM has any basis in reality? It it not painfully obvious everything they say is nothing more than carefully rehearsed spin?

Like politicians, much of what they say is not even them talking...its council, their inner political regime who decides minute by minute what message should be released to the media to further their own strategic purposes.

I find it mind boggling how few realize that which is so apparent, and continue to hang on every word they tell you as though there were an ounce of sincerity behind it.

This incident is irrelevant in the case at hand which is:

Martin claims extended bullying. His evidence so far is one or more VMs and text messages. Of which we've only read the transcript of one so far. That transcript sure sounds nasty, but while in certain contexts it's certainly threatening, in others it's not (and please try to keep an open mind on that point).

Contrary to Martin's agent's claim, several prominent Dolphins, including Tannehill and Cam Wake, disobeyed a management directive to maintain press silence and announced their shock and surprise that Martin was accusing Incognito of bullying. Hartline claimed that the VM in question was listened to in the locker room courtesy of a laughing Martin. He also produced photos showing Martin and Incognito hanging out during their free time. Wake and Clabo both said that the first one to defend Martin on the practice field if ruckus broke out was Incognito.

Does this prove Incognito didn't bully Martin? No. But it should be enough to raise a little doubt in an open mind. If you can believe a 6-5 330lb man was bullied by a teammate, why not consider the possibility that the son of two grievance lawyers was bullied by his parents and attorney?

Armando must automatically be against Cogs if not simply because he goes to strip clubs, something that violates Armandos religious faith. Why admiration for the female form should be of concern to any religion is beyond me.

The hypocrisy of it is that it was the Church that sanctioned much of the art hundreds of years ago, and back then it was perfectly normal to paint nude women. Suddenly, they call it pornography.

Posted by: CountMahdrof | November 09, 2013 at 06:29 PM

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I'm guessing you don't quite get it. If Martin pursues litigation it will be most likely against the franchise itself, not Martin.

It's establishing before Martin even went public, this FRANCHISE knowingly covered up even CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR by COGS. It establishes they pretty much gave their BLESSINGS to COGS misdeeds, knowingly turning a blind eye.

It establishes even though the hierarchy claims to be unknowing of Cogs alledged behavior towards Martin, that they will knowingly COVER UP things when it comes to COGS.

In CIVIL COURT this called PREPONDERANCE of EVIDENCE. Dolphins are pretty screwed if Martin indeed does sue.

There is no cover up if it was reported to the NFL as articles on the NFL and others have posted today. So the foundation of your claim is flawed from the start. There is no way anyone with a logical mind can put this on the coaches or FO. This is more of the same negative BS we've heard from the same people forever.

Now on to some reality. Football.

not Cogs

Don't look now but..there's some parts of the Bucs team that I do in fact like. It was a blow that they lost Martin for the year but they still have some players on that team and Glennon is no push over. The Bucs almost beat the Hawks last week. They came out on fire and put up points quick.

canes have to win to have shot at fsu again

This will force the Dolphins in the future to draft and trade for better quality players...

This also makes all the Players and Fans who defended this Punk Incognito look like A**H***s. To throw water over her head after he finished humiliating her, Incognito needs to be thrown out of the league.

The offensive line was one of the weakest in the NFL with Incognito in the line up. I believe they'll start playing a lot better without this idiot!

I also know that these type of incidents are not isolated cases around the NFL, but for whatever reason the Dolphins are receiving the blunt of negative coverage.

This next game against Tampa Bay will determine the future for this resilient organization.

Miami 31 - Tampa 14

a game against a winless team isnt gonna determine the future of anything except maybe make ireland be even closer to being fired if they lost

canes getting rolled

Mando is apiece of crap

Boo hooo it's all so appalling get over it people

Don't forget Dusty they just beat a red hot Cincy team last Thurs... if anyone thinks the Dolphins doesn't have a good young football team doesn't know football.

The Dolphins already beat two of the top three team in the AFC, Indy and Cincy, this year... and should have beat NE except for poor play calling during the third quarter.

A loss against winless Tampa throws their progress way back and will likely take them out of the playoff race.

It's the same old dolphins with gay new uniforms

Let's just hire the right people to run this team for once and for all

scott they dont have a good football team. they have a mediocre one that is 4-4 and has a home loss to the bills on the resume

dusty bottoms. Miami also has a career .500 starting qb in Tannehill.

My money says Tannehill loses as many games as he wins over his NFL career. He's great and terrible all rolled into one.

= career .500

Marc from NJ is a Jet Fan!!!

In my opinion Philbin is the best Head Coach the Dolphins have had since Jimmy Johnson...

He's already cleared out most of the poor player choices that your boy Parcells brought to Miami.

Jet Fans S***!!!


well sam if ireland is stuck underireland for his career then yes he will be under 500 but if they fire ireland, skies the limit for thill

MONDO COGS IN COMMING FOR YOU......

canes d so bad

In my Opinion the Dolphins are solid:

Defense is equally or more talented, especially in the backfield, than when Thomas, Bowens, and Taylor was here.

On offense 2nd year RB Lamar Miller is tied for league leading 4.8 yards per carry. 2nd year QB Tannehill gets the ball in the end zone when their in the red zone...

The only weak link is the offensive line which has given up more sacks at a record pace this year than any other team in history... This is the major reason why I don't give a s*** about Incognito...

The Dolphins also have one of the best punters in the NFL and a very talented Kicker.

Mando is so bitter that the superior Jay Glazier scored the Incognito interview.

Excuse me but is that a golf club in your butt???????????

Maybe ri put his golf club in martins butt

This front office is the worst ever in sports history they suck

Les miles for head coach ,anyone....

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