The Miami Dolphins officially announced that they have fired offensive line coach Jim Turner and head trainer Kevin O’Neill on Wednesday.
Statement by owner Stephen Ross:
“The language and behavior as described in the Ted Wells report are against the core values of our organization,” said Ross. “After receiving the report, I conducted my own internal review of the facts to determine the appropriate steps for our organization. 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. As owner, I know firsthand of the high-character and dedicated professionals in our building. I believe in our team and know the hard work and sacrifices they make every day on the field and in the community. However, this is an opportunity and a teaching moment not only for the coaches, staff and players in our locker room, but also for participants throughout sports. I am in contact with Jonathan Martin and we plan to meet soon. Next week, I will provide further details of our partnership with the NYU School of Law and the NYU Center for Sports and Society regarding a broader effort to address conduct in sports. My commitment to our fans, coaches, players and staff is that we will be a stronger organization going forward.”
Statement from HC Joe Philbin
“As the Head Coach of the Miami Dolphins, it is my responsibility to create an atmosphere that allows each player the opportunity to reach his full potential. As Stephen Ross said, and I agree, the language and behavior outlined in Ted Wells’ report was disappointing and unacceptable. Since I first arrived in Miami, it has been my goal to have a team which honors our proud tradition and represents our fan base the right way both on and off the field. It is not possible for a team to accomplish its goals when the fundamental values of respect are violated. That ultimately rests on my shoulders and I will be accountable moving forward for making sure that we emphasize a team-first culture of respect towards one another.”
Alex Marvez of Fox Sports reports that the Dolphins pulled Kevin O’Neill out of a Combine athletic trainer’s meeting to fire him.
- Marvez adds that assistant athletic trainer Troy Maurer will handle the Dolphins medical information at the Combine.
- Dave Hyde reports that O’Neill was voted the NFL’s best trainer this year by fellow trainers and medical staff and was to be given award Friday.
- O’Neill had spent 18 years as the Dolphins position as head trainer.
Albert Breer reported earlier on Wednesday that Turner would not work join the team at this year’s Combine.
It was unlikely that either of them were going to be able to survive the aftermath from the Ted Wells report.
According to the Wells report, Turner took part in harassment of Dolphins players including Jonathan Martin and Andrew Gardner. In the case of Gardner, Turner called him a homosexual repeatedly. He also lied to investigators and instructed Martin to come out in defense of Richie Incognito.
This is just another situation that reflects poorly on the struggling Dolphins franchise. It seems very likely that Turner will not get another opportunity in the NFL.