Dolphins’ Richie Incognito Delays Bullying Arbitration Hearing

Richie Incognito said he postponed an arbitration hearing scheduled for this week until after a league probe into the Miami Dolphins’ bullying case is complete.

“I will cooperate fully with the ongoing investigation with a goal of resuming my career with the Miami Dolphins at the conclusion of this investigation,” Incognito said in a statement released yesterday by the NFL Players Association. “I love my teammates and hope we can put this distraction behind us soon.””

The Dolphins began meeting three days ago with National Football League investigators about the bullying case that’s left the team without offensive linemen Jonathan Martin and Incognito. New York attorney Ted Wells is leading the independent probe of the Dolphins’ workplace conduct.

“Richie is cooperating fully with the NFL investigation” and will meet with Wells, the Dolphins said yesterday in a statement.”

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has said there’s no time frame for Wells, a senior partner in the law firm of Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, to complete his investigation into Martin’s claims of harassment by teammates.

Martin left the Dolphins on Oct. 28 and Miami indefinitely suspended Incognito a week later for conduct detrimental to the team after an expletive-filled voice message he sent to Martin became public.

A poll released yesterday by Seton Hall University showed that 46 percent of respondents agreed with Incognito’s suspension and 22 percent opposed it. In the poll, 53 percent of respondents said bullying was widespread in sports, while 25 percent said it was not.

The investigation comes as the team is challenging for a playoff berth. With a 5-5 record after a 20-16 win against the San Diego Chargers on Nov. 17, Miami is among nine teams within 1 1/2 games of the final playoff spot in the American Football Conference. The Dolphins next play Nov. 24 against the Carolina Panthers.

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