LOVERRO: Independent sports investigations are latest cottage industry

ANALYSIS/OPINION 

The Ted Wells report – indicting the Miami Dolphins locker room with a charge of felony cesspool – is just the latest in what has become a cottage industry in sports.

Mama, let your babies grow up to be independent sports investigators.

The Wells report charges that three starters of the Dolphins offensive line — Richie Incognito, John Jerry and Mike Pouncey — engaged in a “pattern of harassment” directed at Jonathan Martin, as well as another young offensive lineman and an assistant trainer.

Boy, the Pouncey family must really be proud of their sons – remember the “Free Aaron Hernandez” hats Mike and his brother, Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurice Pouncey, sported in a photo shortly after the New England Patriots tight end was arrested and charged with murder?

The 144-page report provides the “context” for those who were clueless enough to question Martin’s claims and treated Incognito as a victim.

It’s also another addition to the section in the library reserved for sports scandals, a growing section.

Heck, Oprah could produce a Book Club show just on independent sports reports.

It’s a strange industry, a byproduct of the need for public trust and credibility in this fast-moving age of scandal, where information and evidence is disseminated so quickly, the cover up has been replaced by the clean up – the independent investigation.

Ted Wells is a high-powered criminal lawyer who has represented Lewis “Scooter” Libby, Jr., in the CIA leak probe in 2007. He’s represented Eliot Spitzer in the prostitution scandal, and major corporations like Citigroup and Johnson and Johnson.

Now he’s doing investigations into NFL locker rooms.

George Mitchell was a U.S. Senator and Senate Majority Leader. He brokered the history peace agreement in Northern Island. He’s been chairman of the board of the Walt Disney Company.

In 2007, he was leading an investigation that questioned anonymous trainers in baseball clubhouses that resulted in the Mitchell Report, baseball’s independent investigation into the use of performance-enhancing substances.

Was the Mitchell report the granddaddy of them all? Did it have the most impact?

What about Penn State?

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