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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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THATS A REAL ORGINAZATION WITH CLASE AND DIGNITY. THE DOLPHINS CLASSLESS AND NO WINNING MENTALITY...THAT STARTS WITH OWNER ON DOWN, IF Ross wants to keep his well respected name he needs to clean house and bring in a classy professional staff with as winning attitude that can convince this team and make them winners. Starting with the mentality of winning that mediocrity isn't good enough mediocrity is not winners they are losers. Until then this team will be losers... ROSS PLEASE SIGN A PRESIDENT OF PLAYER AND PERSONNEL THAT IS WELL KNOWN NO MATTER HOIW MUCH IT COST JUST DO IT. LIKE MICKY ARISON DOES IT!!!

The "north side" side of South Korea.....

No military is in North Korea...to my knowledge....

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.

Posted by: taheati | November 03, 2013 at 07:27 PM

Yeah ummmmmmmm,,,,what? Please explain how Armando is acting like a Dolphin employee? This post was weird. And his job in now way "depends" on being able to have access to the Dolphins. He has access to the Dolphins BECAUSE of his job.

If he was acting like a Dolphin employee why would he keep reporting allegations against the team?


Anyone heard from Martin? Anyone,,,hello? Why is everyone in the world talking about this except for the guy who it supposedly happened to?

I think maybe J. Martin should speak up so this thing can start moving forward. His silence in the matter is outrageous. If they did it come out and say they did it so the team can deal with it already. we're going on a week here wtf?!

"What a day for former Dolphins cornerbacks. Sean Smith gets 101yd pic 6."

Sam I was watching that game and what was interesting was Smith actually completely blew his coverage. Stevie Johnson was wide open in the endzone and Thule never took his eyes off his primary. Great job by Smith reading the rookie qbs eyes and leaving his man alone, but he did get lucky. Any competent qb would have recognized the mix up.

YOU IDIOTS need to understand, it was not prank, he was not bullied, he was probably assulted or some indicent manuvers was perpetrated here or worst was found doing something sexually inapropiated by a teamate. Dont think it was drugs but he is more shamfull for what happen than anything else…. GUYS is BADDDD

Phins78 correct, but the amazing part is he actually caught the ball. How many have we seen balls hit him right in the hands and fall to ground in Miami?

Smith actually catching that ball was the real miracle.

Wow, tony, we're all YOU IDIOTS? Amazing, simply amazing you would place your entire arsenal of such a unique mental aptitude on full display.

Was that a primary requirement for passing 2nd grade in your neck of the woods?

Philbin and Ireland are in a tough spot, they can cut Incognito and this problem could go away this week. However, do they risk cutting perhaps their best offensive lineman (a pro-bowler)? Ireland and Philbin need a winning season and losing Incognito makes them a worse offensive line and this could mean the end of this regime. They are in a tough spot.

Pouncey needs to be cut as well as Incognito.

Cut Pouncey? Cut Cogs? We do not have enough roster spots to sign 10 quarterbacks. Because we'll need at least that many.

And Irescum thought Ocho Cinco was a problem haha

Poucney is involved in everything bad.

Jake Long has to be laughing hysterically.

So I don't really want to get into who's right and wrong here, 'cause I don't have all the facts. But here's what's apparent to me.....

We'd all agree the OL is a mess. It's clear the chemistry isn't as good on the line as it should be. You don't have all 5 guys pulling together in the same direction and it's showing in the results. They're not acting as a unit and fighting as they should.

How does Jeff Ireland do all his research on Martin and not pick up on some of these things? First of all, he's not that a good a player. Second of all, doesn't seem he's happy on the line and being in Miami. So even if he was a good player, how do you bring him back next year? I've thought for a while now that we need a new LT but I'm not even sure Martin's worth having on the team. So I consider him gone.

Now everyone ripping Cogs. May not be the nicest guy or your favourite player but i'll take 5 guys like that on my line every Sunday. Comes to play and play hard every Sunday. martin? Not so much. And guys made fun of Egnew for being 'soft'.

Incognito is obviously a jackass...

These are very serious allegations which will put football performance on the back burner and the code of conduct and lack of supervision to the forefront in the coming weeks and months.

Can someone explain to me how it is that Jeff Ireland still has a job?

Can someone explain to me how it is that Jeff Ireland still has a job?

Posted by: Serpico Jones | November 03, 2013 at 09:24 PM

That is the 8th wonder of the world.

I'm guessing Ireland has lost Ross between 200-300 million already in lower team value, lower fan base, and empty stadiums.

I have a theory of Martins intention in this. He pulls the same prank on another teammate the week before however when it's done to him he flips out and goes to the hospital. I think he doesn't want to play anymore and his agent instructed him to go to the hospital to say the joking drove him to his emotional status so he can get paid. Bc of he quits he doesn't and the Fins can ask for certain funds back.
Pair the pranks with the fact lost his position twice to the point they traded for an over the hill tackle and that pushes him over the edge. I don't think he plays another snap in the NFL bc he doesn't want to

Philbin is supposed to be the man in charge of the locker room, not Ireland. You can blame Ireland for hiring Philbin but this Martin debacle cannot be blamed on Ireland directly.

Dashi made a good point the other day when he said that the fins miss Jake Long. More than being a great player, Long was the leader of this offensive line. Big Jake would know when Incognito is going to far and has the guts to put a stop to it. Big mistake letting Big Jake go.

I have a theory of Martins intention in this. He pulls the same prank on another teammate the week before however when it's done to him he flips out and goes to the hospital. I think he doesn't want to play anymore and his agent instructed him to go to the hospital to say the joking drove him to his emotional status so he can get paid. Bc of he quits he doesn't and the Fins can ask for certain funds back.
Pair the pranks with the fact lost his position twice to the point they traded for an over the hill tackle and that pushes him over the edge. I don't think he plays another snap in the NFL bc he doesn't want to

Posted by: mattybfromnc | November 03, 2013 at 09:29 PM

Quite an imagination you have. LMAO!!


If that is the case. You really have to question Martin as a man because he is bringing this team down and the fate of his GM and HC are on the line. I hope that your theory is incorrect.

Washout? Hardly. I was honorably discharged as a Sergeant after OIF I. I then returned to Iraq as a contractor. I was also in Albania in '99. I've also played sports including football. I think I can call myself a tough guy, and I was never close to 300 lbs. Not that I really need to justify my opinion to you or anyone else.

The reason I say that is bc of the report earlier that Martin questioned his want to play football anymore..... he lost his job and for his feelings hurt


Don't know about 'not another snap in the NFL' but I think he's done in Miami. Forget if it's Cogs' fault or Martin's fault or even somebody else's fault. Is this a guy you can count on and want to go to war with every Sunday? He's not even that good.

And I LAUGH at all the guys from last yer who told us Martin would be a 'much better player for us than Long'. REALLY now?.....

I hope it's incorrect as well it's just that to many of the pieces for together. At least in my head anyway lol

Bottom line is this incompetent FO is getting what they deserve. Nothing.

I'll fess up craig I felt Martin would've held his own. The reason I say not another small is bc if the report is true about him questioning himself wanting to play football anymore then this is why he brought allegations and took the steps he did


You say his is Philbin's fault and not Ireland's but you also say 'big mistake letting big Jake go'. Ehm, who's decision was it to let Jake go and not draft his replacement or add him in FA? Who's decision was it to make Martin the LT this year. i'm sorry but the guy's played like crap at LT and RT. won't be sorry to see him gone from the team. They missed on Martin....ANOTHER second round blunder.


You may well be right.

He must be an only child, because my older brother did many things that were far more cruel than what's been reported thus far.

I saw an interview with Scott Piaoli saying when he scored Martin that he wasn't there type of lineman mentally


Cogs may be gone next year too. But in my mind they need a couple of new tackles and Replacing Cogs would mean a third new lineman. Not going to be easy.


I am specifically talking about the possible hazing or bullying in the locker room. The lack of control in the locker room is on Philbin. He did not promote an atmosphere of respect and this happened in his locker room.

Yes, I agree that Ireland is to blame for the personnel decisions on this offensive line and yes Martin was a bust. I am disappointed that after 5 years this is what Ireland has to show for an offensive line. Jerry mediocre, Incognito dysfunctional, Martin bust and a head case, Clabo a disaster, and Pouncey ?. Right now he has struck out on every move on the Offensive line.

His best pick on the OL was Jake Long and he allowed him to walk. That hurt on the field and apparently in the locker room.


I totally agree with your last post. Only thing I'd say is he got it right with Pouncey and just about every other team in the NFL has problems with their OL.

By the way, Vontae Davis just got undressed by Andre Johnson AGAIN tonight. Tell me gain how this guy's a good corner again guys......

Andre Johnson 7 catches 190yds 3tds at halftime.


Craig M, on Johnson's 41 yd td pass Vontae did not have coverage for that one. Vontae is responsible for 6 catches for 141 yds and 2 of Johnson's 3 tds.

149 yds

Hey, Vontae is covering the pro bowl receiver.

You have to give Ireland credit for hoodwinking the Colts into giving him a 2nd round pick for Davis.

Now Sean Smith is a different story. He has blossomed in Kansas City. He is the 2nd rated Corner by PFF and had a 100 + interception today. Sean Smith and Brent Grimes would have given the dolphins the best CB duo on football.

You people talking like this this University of Miami Dolphins, talking like so kind recruring violation, what happen with Martin is a serrious manner, maybe involved in some unprocted activity with another player or friend always leading to blackmail or worst.

So it's okay for JM to do it others but not have it happen to him? This story gets more absurd by the moment! Bunch of whining for no reason at all. If he thinks he was threatened or intimidated by his teammates just wait for the opposition if this policy is enforced to the letter from now on.

Probably the kid that ran to mommmy instead of knocking someone in the mouth if they hit'em.

J Martin is a courageous person for exposing this misconduct. A lesser person would just give in. He's earned my respect for correcting any misconduct on the Miami Dolphins. Hopefully this will bring a good change to the Dolphins and the NFL in general.

The UM Dolphins are going to self impose bands for the next 3 Super Bowls and loose 10 schoolarships or drafts for these violations…GREAT

Clearly and appropriately , RI is going to get thrown under the bus. He's the low hanging fruit. I doubt he plays another snap past Sunday- if he gets that far. Dolphins already positioning to deflect by asking for NFL investigation. I predict that won't stop the bleeding and Philbin is next. Ireland (who doesn't like Philbin anyway) will be the final ax and big fine /draft choice loss if Ginger Hammer isn't satisfied with internal purging. Pouncey better lawyer up real well too. He probably already has. Martin has the last laugh - - gets a settlement. Writes a book. Or, goes to Colts as a backup. This is an onion the media is going to keep peeling like PSU. SO, NFL will act decisively and promptly.

This franchise has fallen apart since the Big Tuna left.

So Irescums hires are proving to be as bad as his drafts.

Martin a puss. A 350 pound soft puss. Anyone who doesn't see that is also a puss

Yeah, Incognito is outta here but Pouncey is reportedly his partner in crime. And Aaron Hernandez's partner in crime too. So he could get the axe also.

I have been a proud Dolphin fan since the 70's but
I am ashamed and embarrassed over these bullying reports.

I was hazed & bullied in school as a kid and
it is a horrible experience to go through.

If these reports are true, people need to be cut, traded and/or fired ! ! !

According to Adam Beasley, this is bigger than bullying....
They've gotten sucked into the Miami lifestyle,
and the veterans are using the younger players as an ATM.
Beasley also said....
Recently, a younger player was handed the tab for a $30,000 team dinner.
The rookie minimum this year is around $400.000.

This is just WRONG ! ! !

Joe Philbin needs to get his team under control.

The vets call Philbin 3-CPO from star wars. They dont respect him.

"Mommy, I can't go back there! The big boys are bullying me!"
"What did they do? Did they threaten you?"
"No, they all got up from the lunchroom table when I sat down!"
"Have they hit you?"
"No, but they won't let me play where I want to on the team and they brought in another guy to replace me at my favorite position, the one I played in college!"
"And, that upset you?"
"Yeah, and they made me pay for stuff too even though they only pay me $400,000 a year!"
"There, there...just sit down and eat your soup. Mommy will talk to a lawyer and we'll take care if those bullies..."

Joe Philbin needs to get his team under control.

Posted by: BahamaFinFan | November 03, 2013 at 11:09 PM

Joe Philbin needs to fired. And RI cut immediately. This misconduct has no place in the NFL.

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

OK, to hell with Hazing, Incognito and Martin participating in all the Pranks himself.

Can we get an investigation and a review with the officiating crews that have handled the Dolphin's games this year and the Patriots games for the past 10 years.

These Officiating Crews undermine and put the integrity of the NFL at risk **WAY MORE** than the Dolphins offensive line.

PS: These reporters are like C o r k Roaches on a.......well......C O R K!

Maybe RAT Bas-tard Scavenging Vultures is more like it.

Shefter was WRONG when he reported Cog's punched a bouncer. The Police and their report backed Cog's story and put the **OUTRIGHT LIE** on Schefter. Must be nice to go about your day reporting complete bullshyt on a NATIONAL LEVEL and having no consequences or repercussions.

These FvckTard reporters should be reporting on how certain Officiating Crews are making it BLATANTLY OBVIOUS that they DIRECTLY CONTROL the outcomes of MANY games through intentional bullshyt calls.

Now THAT would be SOMETHING for these idiots to S U C K ON!

Think what you want of me, at least I'm not one of the retards blowing this thing completely out of proportion. Ditka and his colleagues stated and all agreed that if there was any bullying going on, it's time to let the fists fly. Not have a hissy fit and abandon your team!

Ditka knows what time it is and I'm sure Shula would agree! Ditka and his colleagues said EVERYTHING they could say short of calling Martin a P o o s Tard!

That's what I'm talking about! Shefter just has to big of a V a g between his legs to tell it like it is. Or to call out any officiating crews for that matter. He's probably having a heavy flow right now. Maybe he'll do better when he's feeling better. Those damn Hormones!

PSS: Has Martin been cut yet....?

They are saying on the radio that Ireland and Philbin could resign as early as this week....

Incognito has been suspended?

Posted by: Nat Moore | November 03, 2013 at 11:22 PM

Come on Natalie, REALLY?


Nuff Said!!!!

I LOVE Richie Incognito. I think his talents are a little over the hill at this point in his career. But I wish we had 9 Offensive Lineman with his attitude and Personality!

Check out some of the other offensive lines around the league. They wouldn't even waste a roster spot on these panty wastes like Jonathon Martin, Dallas Thomas and John Jerry!

They have some mean and nasty offensive lineman that blast people right up until and usually AFTER the whistle!

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