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Thursday’s Morning Mashup: Dolphins fire OL coach Jim Turner, head trainer Kevin O’Neill for role in bullying scandal

02.20.14 at 7:46 am ET
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Welcome to Thursday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

THURSDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NBA: Heat at Thunder, 8 p.m. (TNT)
NBA: Rockets at Warriors, 10:30 p.m. (TNT)
College basketball: Towson at Northeastern, 7 p.m. (CSNNE)
College basketball: Michigan State at Purdue, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Memphis at Rutgers, 7 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Alabama at Texas A&M, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Penn State at Nebraska, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Duke at North Carolina, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: UConn at Temple, 9 p.m. (ESPN)
College basketball: Georgetown at Seton Hall, 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
College basketball: Toledo at Bowling Green, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
College basketball: Gonzaga at BYU, 11 p.m. (ESPN2)
College basketball: Pepperdine at Loyola Marymount, 11 p.m. (ESPNU)
Olympics: Women’s hockey bronze medal game, Sweden vs Switzerland, 7 a.m. (NBCSN)
Olympics: Women’s figure skating, 10 a.m. (NBCSN)
Olympics: Men’s freestyle skiing, 2 p.m. (NBCSN)
Olympics: Women’s hockey gold medal game, United State vs. Canada, men’s freestyle skiing, noon (NBC)
Olympics: Women’s curling gold medal game, Canada vs. Sweden, 5 p.m. (CNBC)
Olympics: Women’s figure skating, women’s freestyle skiing, men’s freestyle skiing, 8 p.m. (NBC)
Olympics: Men’s Nordic combined, 1 a.m. (NBC)
Olympics: Men’s curling bronze medal game, Britain vs. Switzerland, women’s freestyle skiing, 3 a.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

— The Dolphins’ response to the investigator’s report about the team’s bullying scandal was swift. The team on Wednesday fired offensive line coach Jim Turner and head trainer Kevin O’Neill for their roles.

While Richie Incognito and two other veteran offensive linemen were pegged as the ringleaders of the culture of harassment in the locker room that led to the departure of Jonathan Martin, Turner was called out for failing to stop it. He also allegedly took part in teasing Andrew McDonald, another young offensive lineman.

The investigation found that O’Neill stood by and even laughed as an assistant trainer was repeatedly mocked for his Japanese heritage, and O’Neill was uncooperative with investigators, cutting short an interview.

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said in a statement that the behavior of Turner and O’Neill goes “against the core values of our organization.”

“After receiving the report, I conducted my own internal review of the facts to determine the appropriate steps for our organization,” Ross said. “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.”

Coach Joe Philbin, who was found to have been unaware of the bullying, made his first public comments since the report was released Friday and accepted some responsibility.

“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 toward one another,” he said in a statement.

Dwight Howard returned to Los Angeles on Wednesday night as a member of the Rockets and, to no one’s surprise, was greeted rudely. Howard, who was a disappointment in his lone season with the Lakers last year, was booed when he touched the ball — starting in warmups about 45 minutes before the game started. In the third quarter, with the Rockets ahead by 22 points, the fans started a “Howard sucks” chant. Howard joined in.

Howard finished with 20 points and 13 rebounds as Houston rolled to its eighth straight win, 134-108.

“We’re always going to have fun when we’re playing basketball. We love what we’re doing,” Howard said afterward. “We’re playing great, and we just want to have as much fun as possible.”

The Lakers, who just before the game traded guard Steve Blake to the Warriors for backup guards Kent Bazemore and former Celtic MarShon Brooks, had just eight players in uniform. The loss kept Los Angeles tied with Sacramento for last place in the Western Conference at 18-36.

“The Lakers have always found a way to get back to the top, and they will one day,” Howard said. “But I can’t focus on the Lakers. My focus is on the Rockets and what we’re trying to accomplish.”

— A report in The Oklahoman on Wednesday revealed that the University of Oklahoma self-reported a number of NCAA violations recently. The one that turned heads: excessive consumption of pasta by three student-athletes.

The athletes were attending a graduation banquet last year when they took more than their allowable share of food. The school ordered them to donate $3.83 to charity in order to be reinstated.

Two football players took to Twitter to confess to the charge.

 

However, the NCAA responded to the story by noting the athletes did not commit a violation.

“While we appreciate Oklahoma’s commitment, there are no NCAA rules regarding portion sizes, and any penalties were determined by the university,” an NCAA spokeswoman said in a statement.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Feb. 20, 1997, which Bruin extended his point-scoring streak to 20 games with an assist in a 5-3 loss to the Blackhawks in Chicago?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “It’€™s been an emotional week for us at BC. It’€™s been an emotional season. We lost one of our colleagues in Dick Kelley. Just the emotion of this game. I’€™m speechless. I’€™m so happy for our guys and all the adversity they’€™ve faced this year. Obviously a huge win for our program.” Boston College basketball coach Steve Donahue, after Wednesday’s 62-59 overtime victory over top-ranked Syracuse

STAT OF THE DAY: 17 – Consecutive points scored by the Suns in the second half of Wednesday night’s 100-94 victory over the Celtics

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): From Wednesday’s Lakers-Rockets game, Lakers guard Jodie Meeks hits a shot off the top of the backboard.

Raptors forward Tyler Hansbrough and Bulls forward Mike Dunleavy get tangled up during Wednesday night’s game in Toronto.

From a recent Central Hockey League game, Allen Americans goalie Mark Guggenberger knocks the Missouri Mavericks mascot to the ice on his way off the ice. The goalie was assessed an undisclosed fine by the league.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Adam Oates, who was stripped of his assistant captaincy before the game for criticizing team management

SOOTHING SOUNDS: J. Geils, former guitarist for his eponymous band, was born on this day in 1946.

Read More: Dwight Howard, Jim Turner, Kevin O'Neill, Steve Blake