TODAY, AP

TODAY   |  November 08, 2013

Dungy: I passed on Incognito because of ‘reputation’

In response to the Miami Dolphins bullying investigation, former NFL player and head coach Tony Dungy says that he passed on recruiting accused bully Richie Incognito because of “the reputation he had.”

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>>> new developments overnight on the alleged bullying that lead a miami dolphins player to leave the team, another player suspended. the harassment was more widespread and severe than previously reported. kerry sanders is at the training facility again for us in south florida . kerry, what's the latest?

>> reporter: good morning, savannah. until now we have not heard from jonathan martin . he's the offensive lineman that claims he was allegedly abused by one or more of the players, bullied by one or more of the players here at the dolphin training facility. overnight his lawyer issued a statement on behalf of martin and it includes a new claim that he also endured a physical attack. explosive new allegations this morning. we're now hearing jonathan martin 's side of the story. late last night, martin's lawyer david cornwell released a statement that says in part, jonathan endured harassment that went far beyond the traditional locker room hazing. for the entire season and a half he was with the dolphins he attempted to befriend the same teammates who subjected him to the abuse with the hope that doing so would end the harassment. this is a textbook reaction of victims of bullying. despite these efforts, the taunting continued. and for the first time, a new claim, that jonathan endured a malicious physical attack on him by a teammate. but teammates have expressed near universal support for alleged tormenter richie incognito .

>> people feel the need to stand up for him.

>> there's a lot more questions about richie so more support for h him.

>> reporter: documents surfaced alleging incognito displayed inappropriate behavior toward a female volunteer at a dolphin's golf tournament a year and a half ago. according to a police report , that woman claimed incognito leaned up against her buttocks with private parts as if dancing. he was not arrested or charged in the incident. martin's new claim of an attack comes on the heels of an nbc sports report that dolphin's general manager advised the best way for martin to confront the bullying was to fight back.

>> dolphin's general manager told martin's agent he should physically confront richie incognito and martin should punch incognito in order to solve this problem.

>> the dolphins won't comment on the report.

>> as we're all aware there's a lot of information out there and the nfl is coming down here to conduct a review.

>> reporter: attorney ted wells is expected to begin his investigation as early as tonight. savannah.

>>> all right. kerry sanders , thank