Will Miami guard become the poster boy for bad behavior in the NFL?
As Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh tries to clean up his reputation, the ‘dirty player’ spotlight swings back to shine on Richie Incognito.
According to a YouWager news source, Richie Incognito has agreed to being suspended (with pay) for the entire 2013 NFL football wagering season. Both the NFL and the NFLPA, the NFL Players Association, support this plan. Incognito has not played for the Miami Dolphins since October, after charges were made that he went too far in hazing rookie teammate Jonathan Martin. Martin left the team, and Incognito was originally suspended without pay for one month. He is now drawing a paycheck, but he is not allowed to participate in team activities. The National Football League began an investigation into Incognito’s alleged bullying, and it will likely last the remainder of the year, YouWager’s source reports.
Internet football wagering buffs may soon be hearing about Incognito’s colorful past. As the NFL implements new rules to reduce concussions, and players remind the sports betting public that professional football is indeed a contact sport, the league must now decide if it’s OK to be a mean sport.
During the NFL Combine of 2005, scouts agreed Incognito was “the strongest and most explosive player in attendance.” In spite of his impressive physical ability, one scouts wrote, “his inability to control his emotions both on and off the field is such a significant concern that he’ll likely slip to the later rounds of the draft.”
In the old days, when Chicago linebacker Dick Butkiss bragged that he lived to hit someone so hard that he saw an opponent’s helmet rolling on the field, with a head in it, everyone laughed. When South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney knocked a Michigan player’s helmet off, fans cheered, and Clowney became an Internet sensation. But now, when a major collision happens on the field, some fans hold their breath, wondering if a favorite player may soon be out for the rest of his career.
Incognito has already been labeled a ‘dirty player.’
In the NFL, Incognito quickly developed a bad reputation. He was often accused of gouging eyes, punching players, and making illegal tackles. In the 2009 NFL football wagering season, the league’s players voted him The Dirtiest Player in the NFL.
The league won’t have to look far for evidence of Incognito’s bullying. YouWager’s dedicated college football wagering fans may remember Incognito’s troubles before he turned pro. Playing college football for the University of Nebraska, the young man was already showing signs of behavioral problems. Incognito was fined and suspended for fighting and acts of unsportsmanlike conduct. In 2003, his coach sent him to the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas for anger management treatment. But after fighting in Nebraska’s locker room Incognito was forced to leave the team. The University of Oregon dismissed Incognito only a week later, citing anger management issues.
Incognito maintains that he was merely misunderstood. In an earlier interview, he told YouWager’s source, “This isn’t an issue about bullying. This is an issue of mine and Jon’s relationship where I’ve taken stuff too far and I didn’t know it was hurting him.”