It was a telling sign when the Miami Dolphins left for the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis and left behind longtime offensive line coach Jim Turner.
The Dolphins made the expected official when they fired Turner and head athletic trainer Kevin O'Neill on Wednesday for their respective roles in the team's bullying scandal involving Jonathan Martin.
Martin was the victim of incessant hazing from teammates Richie Incognito, Mike Pouncey and John Jerry, which led to Martin leaving the team on Oct. 28. Turner was revealed to have not stopped the bullying that he witnessed, and O'Neill did not cooperate with the independent investigator Ted Wells, who was commissioned by the NFL to look into the case.
The Wells Report, in a damning 144 pages, also revealed that Turner assisted in the harassment of Martin and another teammate, Andrew McDonald, who now is with the Carolina Panthers.
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, who said the hazing was "against the core values of our organization," released a statement on the Turner and O'Neill firings.
"After receiving the report, I conducted my own internal review of the facts to determine the appropriate steps for our organization," Ross said. "Jim Turner and Kevin O'Neill are good people who care a great deal about their profession and the players whom they serve, but both exhibited poor judgment at times, which led me to this conclusion."
O'Neill had been with the team over the Dolphins' past seven head coaches, spanning 18 years, and has been in the NFL for 25 years. Turner joined head coach Joe Philbin's staff two years ago.
Philbin is not scheduled to speak at the combine, which features more than 50 head coaches and general managers talking to the media. The only Dolphins representative slated to speak this week is new GM Dennis Hickey, who was recently hired — and well after the Martin hazing occurred.
Ross said he has spoken with Martin recently and plans to meet with the 2012 second-round pick, who has two years remaining on his contract. Previously, Ross said he didn't believe Martin would play again for the Dolphins. Incognito and Jerry are both free agents. Pouncey is under contract for another season.
- - - - - - -
- Sports & Recreation
- American Football
- Jonathan Martin
- Miami Dolphins