After a couple of weeks of bad news, including the need for surgery that will sideline him for at least three months and allegations of assault during his birthday party, Miami Dolphins Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey appears to have received some good news today. According to a report from the Miami Herald's Adam H. Beasley, Pouncey will likely not be suspended for his role in the team's bullying scandal last year.
Pouncey, along with then Dolphins guards Richie Incognito and John Jerry, was named as key instigators in the harassment of teammate Jonathan Martin. Martin left the team in October, alleging that he had been bullied by Incognito, despite what appeared to have been a close friendship. After months of investigation, attorney Ted Wells, appointed by the league to be an independent investigator, found Pouncey, Incognito, and Jerry had conducted a prolonged pattern of harassment directed at Martin, other Dolphins players, and some members of the staff. Incognito and Jerry, who were both free agents this offseason, were not re-signed by the team, and offensive line coach Jim Turner and head trainer Kevin O'Neill, also implicated to have roles in the harassment, were fired.
Martin was traded to the San Francisco 49ers in the offseason.
According to Beasley's report, emails were exchanged between the Herald and NFL Spokesman Greg Aiello today. Aiello explained that there has been, "no change in [Pouncey's] active status [and] we have no other information to offer on the subject." Aiello was then asked if that meant the league would have no further updates on the bullying situation. He replied, "Never say never but I don't anticipate having to address the issue again."
Pouncey is required to undergo a psychological screening before he is allowed to play this season as part of the situation. It is not clear when that screening will take place, or if it has already been completed.
Sometime during the team's offseason workout program in May and June, Pouncey tore the labrum in his hip, an injury that required surgery to repair. The expected timeline for his rehab is at least three months, which would mean Pouncey, the only member of the Dolphins starting offensive line in 2013 to return this year, could miss the first month of the season.
The bad news got worse earlier this week as Pouncey and his twin brother Maurkice, the Pro Bowl center for the Pittsburgh Steelers, held their annual birthday party at Cameo, a Miami club. Around 4:30am Saturday morning, an incident occurred, with a man later alleging both Pounceys, along with four bouncers, had assaulted him. A woman added that Maurkice had punched her in the head when she tried to break up the fight.
Police have indicated that neither Pouncey appears to be the subject of the investigation. Mike addressed the situation with Andy Slater on 940 WINZ today, stating that he had nothing to do with the incident.
At least for the moment, the Dolphins appear to be able to get Pouncey back on the field as soon as he is healthy, with no fear of a suspension looming from the bullying scandal. If the Cameo allegations prove to be false, things will be looking up for the embattled (off the field at least) Pro Bowler.