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Miami Dolphins hazing, pranks, bullying may run afoul of NFL Personal Conduct Policy

Players on the Dolphins, under review by the NFL, may have violated portions of the NFL's Personal Conduct Policy if allegations of harassment of offensive lineman Jonathan Martin and other allegations involving the treatment of younger players are proven true, according to league sources.

The NFL Personal Conduct policy imposes a standard of conduct for league and club employes, including players and coaches. That policy states employees of the NFL or a member clubs 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."

Employees found in violation of the policy may have discipline imposed for any of the following circumstances: 

• Violent or threatening behavior among employees, whether in or outside the workplace.

• Conduct that imposes inherent danger to the safety and well being of another person; and

• Conduct that undermines or puts at risk the integrity and reputation of the NFL, NFL clubs, or NFL players.

In recent days there have been numerous reports of alleged harassment or mistreatment or even "bullying" of Martin. That alleged bullying included Martin being the subject of a prank in the team's lunch room when other players invited him to have lunch with them. Martin, the story goes, sat down and his teammates all got up and left him alone at the table.

ESPN and CBSSports reported today that Dolphins guard Richie Incognito is one of the leaders of the alleged poor treatment of Martin and gave examples of the veteran guard's actions.

Incognito and the club have pushed back against such reports. Incognito defended himself on twitter and the Dolphins released a statement saying the club knows of no bullying that is going on relative to Martin.

[Update: The Dolphins released a statement at approximately 4:30 Sunday saying, "We received notification today from Jonathan's representation about allegations of player misconduct. We are taking these allegations very seriously and plan to review the matter further. We have also reached out to the NFL and asked them to conduct an objective and thorough review. As an organization, we are committed to a culture of team-first accountability and respect for one another."]

The NFL is conducting a review on the matter which could lead to actions if it finds violations of the Personal Conduct Policy. The NFL Players Association is also not conducting a formal investigation.

And this issue is bound to become more complex before it gets resolved.

Part of the issue is that Martin, which the club maintains is ill, is now through representatives apparently offering details and naming names in incidents of misconduct. But, interestingly, the club is aware of at least one incident in which Martin participated in what could be construed as pranksterism or hazing or, bullying.

Earlier this year, members of the offensive line took guard Josh Samuda's car keys and moved the car from where Samuda had parked it. Martin, a club source confirmed today, was part of that prank.

Also, one source tells me that the same joke that apparently sent Martin over the proverbial edge -- the lunchroom prank in which players abandon one teammate -- was done to guard Nate Garner the week before.

And Martin was allegedly involved in helping to perpetrate that one.

Another layer and tangential to this story is the Dolphins embracing of rookie hazing. The NFL confirmed to me that rookie hazing does indeed fall under the NFL personal conduct policy. And so at the point where players are forced to shave or dye their hair, or carry gear for veterans, or pay for meals out or bring ordered meals on team flights for veterans, it all falls under the policy.

There are numerous and well documented accounts of such hazing.

Do they rise to the level of bullying? That is unclear.

Are the acts subject to the NFL Personal Conduct Policy? Absolutely.





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Because you are the Chosen Ones.(listen, don't get angry now, but can You find another Team instead of Us?)

Yes, this could be bigger than bountygate. Especially if more than Incognito and Philbin were involved.

The fins have a mess on that OL. They will have to change 4 of the 5 OL. There do not seem to be any viable replacements on the team right now. It may be one of those situations where you have to spend big money on two OL and draft 2 OL with your first two picks. Will Ireland be making those moves? It is pretty disappointing that Ireland has not been able to build an offensive line in the 5 years that he has been the GM here.

a fan of 40 years and this is prob as bad as ive seen it.

1 word sums up the last 15 years as a fan "embarassing"

a 63-7 beatdown by jax in playoffs,ricky williams,countless blown drafts,2 beatdowns by the ravens in the other playoff games,eddie moore,boldin,culpooper over brees,fist pumps,fat tuna,ireland,1-15 season,terrible FA signings,goofy owner(or dumbo),cam cameron and his clone philibin,failing foward fast,ginn and his family, henne now tanahenne and countless other scrub qbs before that,cant run ,cant pass ,cant block,cant tackle,cant cover and countless other disasters.

the point is wow its painful to be a fin fan.we the fans should be the ones who feel bullied and beat down by this pathetic franchise.i mean how much can we possibly take? ..and now this,wow .IDK what else to say,a loss for words

Too bad some team members consider themselves so awesome they can spend time playing pranks instead of performing on the field.

Welcome to the tender side of America or the "WUSIFICATION OF A Nation". The only way to stop bullying is to hit them in the mouth, don't cry and go running to your parents, this will only make it worst

The Dolphins will be charged with failure to supervise. Suspensios will be handed down. Martin will get back bay plus damages.

Incognito has worn out his welcome, he will definitely be gone after this year.

The poor bucs, are about to go to 0-8 but played well today. Will they get there first win against the fins next week?

This is nothing like Bounty Gate. To even compare this to that is ridiculous. The NFL is already getting hammered over their new sissy rules on kickoffs and hits. Now they are going to go all out on a 6:5 315 pd man being bullied. You have no sense if you believe that is going to happen. We need a REAL commissioner, time for a real man, not this sissy Goodell.

A new report states Philbin was approached by Martin in the Spring regarding bullying.

After finding this out he and Ireland still gambled the season on Martin being fine.

What a joke, we had a chance to go after a proven LT in Alberts and wouldn't give up a 2nd to the Chiefs.

Philbin did nothing, Ireland left Alberts alone. Here we are in trouble again. Regmime change ASAP. We could still make the playoffs with this roster inder the right leader.

It will be found that no more happened than happens on any NFL team. Gooddell will send memos to all teams saying "Boys behave or be fined/suspended" and it will be over with.

Guys, this all only happened because Martin was moved back to right tackle. He was distraught over that and it was just a bad day to kid with him.

No more, no less.

Vegas Mike, and Santa will come down your chimney next month.

Ths is worse than bounty gate. Martins attorneys will press the issue for damages, fines, and suspensions.

Just cut ties with Martin. This guy could not walk in the locker room with a bag over his head. I have not even heard of this happening in HS football.

Not even 150 pound Caleb Sturgis is complaining about bullying. This guy is 315 pounds and he has to go crying to his parents and is scared to come back to the team. I am just stunned by all of this.

..Bobby12..First off. right now you are right. It isn't like anything. It may very well just go away. I'm just saying this is how Bounty gate started..It was nothing. It sure turned into a big deal. A bi deal that Saints fans are still screaming about..You don't get it...The NFl is going to do whatever it takes to protect its image. Bounty gate was similar because every team had some sort of bounty program. Everyone did it..One team took it to far...How can you for surely say this isn't the "prank",or "hazing" version of the same thing?

We don't know what happened. What if it comes out that what was going on was on a different level then just name calling? what if it comes out there is nothing to see? And that is what I am saying. As positive as you feel that this is a non-issue. I am saying I am not..We have to see.

Philbin knew about the bullying but did nothing. They are saying on the radio that Martins lawyers will be asking for a huge settlement.

Salguero: "And, interestingly, the club is aware of at least one incident in which Martin participated in what could be construed as pranksterism or hazing or, bullying. Earlier this year, members of the offensive line took guard Josh Samuda's car keys and moved the car from where Samuda had parked it. Martin, a club source confirmed today, was part of that prank."


Lol. Does Salguero *always* carry water for the team?

"Pranks." "Hazing." "Bullying." "Threats."

In NO context are these terms synonymous despite Salguero's (best?) effort to make them so.

Related? In a chronological, progressively regressively deterministic way? Maybe.

However, the *actionable* conduct in this context would involved "bullying" and "threats."

Example. Martin's alleged involvement in pranking a teammate by moving his car has *zero* bearing on any "threat" allegedly issued by vets to extort money.

Salguero's job may depend on access to the team, but his credibility depends on *not* acting, smearing -- or reporting -- like a Fin employee.


Armando Salguero @ArmandoSalguero

Tim Bowens was being compelled to sing. Tim decided he wasn't going to sing for anybody. And he did not.

Expand Reply


Armando Salguero @ArmandoSalguero

Former Dolphins DT Tim Bowens packed and was ready to leave team because he didn't want to be hazed. Don Shula found out. Hazing stopped.


"Related? In a chronological, progressively [regressive and] deterministic way? Maybe."

Posted by: Bobbyd12 | November 03, 2013 at 07:18 PM

I totally agree with you. Godell is the worst NFL commissioner ever. He is taking the toughness out of football. Bullying in the NFL, what a joke. You wonder what Larry Czonka, and Dick Butkus would say about bullying in football. Lyle Alzado has to be rolling over in his grave.

This is NOT rookie hazing. Martin wasnt a rookie this year and the bullying continued.

"However, the *actionable* conduct in this context would [seem to involve] 'bullying' and 'threats' [and/or specific 'hazing' of an intentionally injurious or malicious nature]."


Many of you calling out Martin's manhood and haven't a clue Tim Bowens was packed and ready to leave because of the SAME THING.

SHULA found out and the HAZING ended. LMAO!


That means Pouncey either has to admit that he part of an arms trafficking scheme or he will be charged with perjury.
In either case Pouncey is done.

Clearly, the Dolphins are totally mismanaged in every aspect.

Update: The Dolphins released a statement at approximately 4:30 Sunday saying, "We received notification today from Jonathan's representation about allegations of player misconduct. We are taking these allegations very seriously and plan to review the matter further. We have also reached out to the NFL and asked them to conduct an objective and thorough review. As an organization, we are committed to a culture of team-rist accountability and respect for one another."]

Looks like Philbin and company decided to take the Phins 78 approach to this...."bullying...hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha"

I think that is enough ha's....

The difference....I doubt Phins 78 has millions of dollars @ stake when he brushes this off.....

I find it difficult to agree with anything BOBBYD12. Guys has obvious anger issue.

Blasted everyone on the blog during Keller's injury in a very unsavory tone.

Turns out, everyone else was right andBOBBYD12 was WRONG.

ASK BOBBYD12 why he was never MAN ENOUGH to apologize to the blog? EH BOBBYD12, we're still waiting, MAN UP!

Dont know how true any of it is but a person can only take so much harassment then they will react. I hope the NFL takes care of this before something tragic happens

Can we please fire Ireland NOW?

Moving Samuda's car is roflmao. A person needs to have a sense of humor. It would be funny to have this happen if the joke didn't go on very long. Let the "victim" if you will flip out for a minute or two then tell him the deal. That's a joke...but if it went on for any considerable length of time then it's crossing the line. This kind of stuff happens all the time in the armed forces, with bands on the road etc...
It's a way to offset the stress and the seriousness of work. This is much to do about nothing. I'm starting to think that Martin simply has a screw loose.

Dont know how true any of it is but a person can only take so much harassment then they will react. I hope the NFL takes care of this before something tragic happens

Posted by: Cane1 | November 03, 2013 at 07:37 PM

So many keyboard tough guys here they have no compassion for no one. Great to see a SENSIBLE POST!

This would've never happened if Jeff Fisher was HC.

If someone kids with anyone on this blog when you're in a BAD MOOD you ALL react the same as Martin.

Martin was in a BAD MOOD after learning he was being REPLACED AT LT by McKinnie.

So, t6he rest of you are all saying you aren't human too?

Philbin has to answer for this. There will be an enquiry in which Jonathon Martin and his lawyers will show all of their evidence towards bullying.

RI will most likely swing for this. I'd also like to see Thill speak out about this situation to the team. It would show he has some balls ans put him up there with Wake as the teams leader.

Ireland stated, "we have our LT in Jonathon Martin", wow even jeff reaches new lows.

I don't claim to be a TOUGH GUY. REAL so called TOUGH GUYS are out there honing CRIMINAL careers, not honing their keyboard tough guy image.

How many real tough guys spend a large part of their time on social medias such as this?

As I watch the water waves, I realize Daytona's a Beach.

The Dullfin joke circus continues......LMAO

Not really interested in "hazing" or even "bullying" in a sport like football, unless they result in injury.

Am interested in the specificity of alleged "threats."

If Martin wasn't threatened in the legal, criminal use of the term, his complaints could -- and perhaps should -- be framed as hypersensitive hysteria.

However, if reports of alleged strong-arming (extortion) and threats prove credible, the everyone-does-it defense will only invite more scrutiny, heap more scorn on a league increasingly prone to symptoms of "racketeering", including Bountygate.

So Brady put up 55 points with NO RECEIVERS! YIKES!

Just let the thing play out. The Patriots had an alleged murderer on their roster and the sky isn't falling for them.

Last check they've scored 55 points this week.

Personally I think Cogs is an a-hole but I'm sure there's several in every locker room.

No more will be found than that this behavior happens on all 32 NFL teams. Gooddells will send memos to all 32 teams uncondoning this behavior with threats of fine and suspensions. Case closed.

This only became public because Martin's team mates choose a VERY INAPROPRIATE time to haze. Martin was DISTRAUGHT over beig moved back to RIGHT TACKLE.

Has anyone ever TEASED any of you when you were already in a bad or distraught mood?

Then what happened, you were probably just as displeased as Martin, right?

Nothing should happen to Coach Philbin. J.Martin should've spoke to him about it before leaving the team.

Incognito should be released or suspended for the rest of the season.

J.Martin should go to counseling and be sent away until he is psychologically ready to play Pro football again. Which should be never.

Start N.Garner for the rest of the year. I believe N.Garner understands the Offense better than Incognito. N.Garner can also play Tackle. He could be of more use to B.McKinnie.

The Fins Should've Franchised Jake Long!!

Nah, Martin went thru high school and college with no incidents. This is serious misconduct on the part of Dolphins Incognito and Pouncey. And Philbin didnt say a word

"Nah, Martin went thru high school and college with no incidents."


Good point. Past could be prelude on something like this, and it wasn't.

The Pats cut Hernandez.

We should counsel RI, fine him and cut or trade him a t the end of the year.

Nate Garner played really well in his absence and the team may be better off without a trash act like him on the o-line.

Pouncey will be involved as well. Mike named Martin big Weirdo and you could tell on hardknocks he couldn't handle it then.

I like Nate Garner. However it means Clabo is back at RT, yikes !!!!

Thill must be sh1tting his new uniform. Although he and the line played great against the Bengals to be fair.

You guys are just as much of a sissy as Martin! It's very typical ALPHA MALE behavior. It's NOT "bullying". Richie is an alpha. Nothing more to see here. Sure, you can turn this into something it's not, but, you guys must have never played any sports, been in the military, or a fraternity. The "facts" don't interest me in the least. Do you guys think Richie "extorted" Martin by threatening to shoot him? Get real.

Is anyone that Ireland drafted in 6 years wortwhile?

If Ireland and Philbin want to save face they would release Incognito sooner than later.

You can deal with Martin at a later time. You already gave him permission for a couple weeks to find himself. So even if he wants to comeback you can send him to be re-evaluated.

Clabo and Mckinnie can hold their own. And Incognito isn't that much better than his backup. Give N.Garner a chance. And if N.Garner gets hurt then play D.Thomas. No better time to see what we have than now.


Right now we need 2 OT and a LG.

Delvin into a socio-political branch of this episode. Going back to JFK, who curiously was also from Harvard, many thought this Country needed a different social texture than it has. That Change. I'm not sure if any individual is capable of affirming now that it is so or not or if it is needed or not. There can be only opinions now but ultimately decisions by the Collective Mind on this Country's destiny and the direction it shall take.


Look Phins forth best in their division. Now with that said its time for a fall winter clean up! I predicted 6-10 I'm sticking to it. I been saying it now for the last couple of weeks that the phins lose against tampa we will be the first team to give them the first win. You see!

Bill Romananowski ended a teammates career! This is not even in the same stratosphere.

Wow we are now dealing with the Martin family.

This family B.S, started with Ted Ginn and his family.

Word to the FO we don't by your family value B.S.

It's not the 1980's. Don Johnson has left South Beach !!!


This team needs to now what it wants to become before thinking playoffs. Both sides of the ball need an Identity.

Tannehill needs to start building better chemistry with M.Wallace. Even if it is just on a couple short routes. He needs to target him more during games. R.Mathews will be able to fill in for B.Gibson and when he comes back next season we would have 4 Good WRs that are interchangeable.

Clay, Egnew and Sims seem to be the Answer at TE. If Egnew develops right he can be a goalline threat. Either at FB or line him up wide and throw a fade.

L.Miller is the Truth and will only get better with better blocking and more carries. We still need a good #2. Someone who can get 1 yard. An Eddie Lacy Type. D.Thomas isn't the answer. Thigpen is a Returner and 3rd down back. He is to small for short yardage.

A Good Young O-line to develop with the rest of the offense is the #1 Priority this Off season. We need to get at least 2 Starting Lineman in the Next Draft.


I have spent my entire adult life in the military....been to war for this country on more than a few occasions....even spent two years in Korea for guys like you....and that cool part...the"north side" of Korea....GARY OWEN.....

Even I am still human enough to know that something isn't right.....and I consider myself a tough guy's tough guy....

I would never allow this to happen to one of my troops.....

A joke is a joke.....but as a leader...I have to know where the line is....even if the one getting the SH@t isn't able to tell others himself.....that's called leadership in the most manly of manly professions.....

What have you done....what makes you tough.....what qualifies you to classify those who don't agree with as sissies....

I would be interested to know....fraternity I guess.....

If memory serves...you were a wash-out as a serviceman....

"Sources: Miami Dolphins rookies pushed to pay up"

Happens on every team I read. It's supposed to be a once a year deal. I haven't read that this happens all the time in Miami.

Lets put it in perspective. Lets say Incognito is guilty of being a bully. Is that a bigger story than say,

A. A team who video tapes another teams walkthrough/practice before a super bowl and is then calling the exact plays out on the field during the game pre snap.

B. A team whose culture is so screwed up players are payed by coaches to intentionally injure their opponents and put their careers at risk.

Yet Peyton is being talked about as coach of the year one year later and the NFL never missed a beat in it's constant butt licking of the Patriots.

What does this teach us? When you win it's perfectly fine to break the rules in the media's eyes AND within the higher ups at the NFL. But losing teams beware, you don't make the papers and NFL as much money so you better walk the straight and narrow. It's a complete crock of s%$t.

I'll let you all in on a joke gone wrong thats already gone on way too far is that hideous logo on the side of our helmets!! It's been 8 weeks can we please go back to the old logo now please

What a day for former Dolphins cornerbacks. Sean Smith gets 101yd pic 6. Now Vonte Davis gives up 62yds td to Andre Johnson 1.5 minutes into the game.

Are you saying Ross BULLIED dolfans into the new logo?

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