CINCINNATI – The University of Cincinnati has hired a former Miami Dolphins coach fired in an alleged bullying scandal on the NFL team during the 2013 season, and that has some students feeling uneasy.
"If we're going to give him a second chance, I think he needs to prove himself," said Sarah Morton, a member of the LGBTQ Center on campus.
"We should try to invite him to one of our event, one of our workshops, and see if he shows up. And from there we can see where he stands."
Jim Turner, former Dolphins offensive line coach, is joining UC head coach Tommy Tuberville's staff as an assistant, a university source told WCPO.
Turner was fired by the Dolphins in February 2014 after his actions were questioned in investigator Ted Wells' 144-page report. Wells concluded that former Dolphins offensive lineman Jonathan Martin was subjected to "a pattern of harassment" that included racial slurs and sexual taunts about his mother and sister by linemen Richie Incognito, John Jerry and Mike Pouncey. The report said Turner didn't attempt to stop the harassment and even took part.
According to the report, Turner "was aware of the running 'joke' that Player A was gay, and on at least one occasion, he participated in the taunting."
"Around Christmas 2012, Coach Turner gave the offensive linemen gift bags that included a variety of stocking stuffers. The gifts included inflatable female dolls for all of the offensive linemen except Player A, who received a male 'blow-up' doll," the report said.
Turner had just finished his second season as the Dolphins' offensive line coach when he was fired along with trainer Kevin O'Neill.
"The language and behavior as described in the Ted Wells report are against the core values of our organization," Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said in a statement about the firings. "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."
Last August, Turner sued Wells and his law firm. In a radio interview in May, Turner said he was railroaded by Wells, who also investigated the Tom Brady "Deflategate" scandal. Turner said Wells failed to include that Martin went AWOL from the team and admitted to Turner that he was suicidal. Turner said Wells and the NFL had an agenda to "defend Martin at all costs."
"Independent investigator my ass," Turner said of Wells. "Wells is not a good human being. When I did not give him the story he wanted, he targeted me as a part of a problem in Miami."
LISTEN to Turner's interview
The Dolphins suspended Incognito for the second half of the 2013 season. Incognito sat out 2014, then joined the Buffalo Bills in 2015 and started every game. Martin left the Dolphins during the 2013 season, sat out 2014 and was traded to the San Francisco 49ers. The Carolina Panthers claimed Martin on waivers last March, but he retired last July citing a back injury.
UC has also hired former Dolphins offensive coordinator Zac Taylor as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Turner and Taylor worked together on the Dolphins and Texas A&M staffs. Turner is a cousin with former Aggies coach Mike Sherman, and Taylor is Sherman's son-in-law.
Turner played fullback at Boston College from 1984 to 1987.