Miami Dolphins

July 14, 2014

Miami Dolphins’ Mike Pouncey likely won’t be punished by NFL for role in bullying scandal

The NFL seemed to indicate that Dolphins center Mike Pouncey would not be disciplined for his role in the team’s bullying scandal.

Not a lot has gone right for Mike Pouncey this summer.

A hip injury discovered during minicamp required surgery and will likely cost the Dolphins center the first month of the season. Plus, his birthday party drew the wrong type of attention for the second year in a row.

But Pouncey can take solace in this: He probably won’t be disciplined for his role in the team’s ugly workplace conduct scandal.

During an email exchange with NFL spokesman Greg Aiello, the league told the Miami Herald that there has been “no change in [Pouncey’s] active status [and] we have no other information to offer on the subject.”

When asked if that meant the league would have no update on the situation going forward, Aiello responded: “Never say never, but I don’t anticipate having to address the issue again.”

The inference: The case is all but closed. The Dolphins had no immediate reaction to the news.

Pouncey and offensive linemen Richie Incognito and John Jerry were the central figures in the team’s 2013 bullying scandal. A national debate on bullying exploded after tackle Jonathan Martin abruptly left the club last fall, accusing his teammates of emotional and physical abuse.

When racially incendiary texts sent to Martin by Incognito were made public, the Dolphins asked the league to step in. NFL-appointed investigator Ted Wells ultimately determined that Pouncey, Incognito and Jerry all engaged in a pattern of harassment directed at Dolphins players and staff that lasted more than a year.

In the months since, offensive line coach Jim Turner and head trainer Kevin O’Neill have been fired, and neither Incognito nor Jerry, free agents each, was asked to return. Only Pouncey remains with the team — and apparently in its good graces. During league meetings in March, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross called him “an outstanding young man.”

At those same meetings, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said that Pouncey (and the others involved) had to go through a mental evaluation before being allowed to return to the field. It is not clear if Pouncey’s screening has already taken place.

Pouncey made headlines again this weekend, when a South Florida man took to social media to accuse him and his twin brother Maurkice of assaulting him at a South Beach nightclub. The Pounceys had their annual birthday party at Cameo, where some sort of altercation occurred early Saturday morning, according to a police report. The victims claim they were punched in the head, resulting in welts, but as of late Monday Miami Beach police had not identified a suspect.

The incident comes a year after the Pouncey twins drew criticism after wearing “Free Hernandez” hats to their joint party in support of jailed friend and fellow University of Florida teammate Aaron Hernandez, who has been charged with killing three people in two separate shootings in the Boston area.

Pouncey, the only starting Dolphins lineman back from last year’s team, is expected to miss the first part of the season after tearing his labrum this spring.

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