DAVIE, Fla. -- In the stadium program sold at the Miami Dolphins' game on Halloween, Richie Incognito was asked who's the easiest teammate to scare. His answer: Jonathan Martin.
The troubled, troubling relationship between the two linemen took an ominous turn Monday with fresh revelations: Incognito sent text messages to his teammate that were racist and threatening, two people familiar with the situation said.
The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the Dolphins and NFL haven't disclosed the nature of the misconduct that led to Sunday's suspension of Incognito, a veteran with a reputation for dirty play.
Martin, a second-year tackle out of Stanford, remained absent from practice Monday one week after he suddenly left the team because of emotional issues. Also missing was Incognito, a guard suspended indefinitely late Sunday by coach Joe Philbin for his treatment of Martin. A source told The Miami Herald that Incognito will never again play for the Dolphins.
Stanford coach David Shaw said people at the school had been in touch with Martin.
"I'm a Jonathan Martin fan, so my interest is just in him getting back to the point where he gets a chance to play this game that he loves again," Shaw said. "By all accounts, he's doing well. Not sure if he's going to rejoin the team this year, or when he is, but I know he's going to get himself back ready to play the game."
The 319-pound Incognito, a ninth-year pro, is white. The 312-pound Martin is black. For much of the season they've played side by side.
The team and NFL continued their investigation into allegations by Martin's representatives that he was bullied, and Philbin said Dolphins owner Stephen Ross asked league commissioner Roger Goodell for assistance. The NFL Players Association also planned to look into the matter.
"Every decision I've made, everything we've done in this facility has been done with one thing in mind," Philbin said. "That's to help our players and our organization reach their full potential. Any type of conduct (or) behavior that detracts from that objective is not acceptable and is not tolerated."
It's unclear whether coaches or management had any inkling of harassment between the players before Martin left the team, and Philbin declined to answer a question about the locker-room culture.
Hazing of young players has a long history in sports, but Incognito's treatment of Martin raised questions about whether coaches or teammates should have intervened.
"It's not a thin line. It's pretty obvious stuff that shouldn't be crossed," Tennessee Titans cornerback Jason McCourty said.
Raiders coach Dennis Allen said the coach is ultimately responsible for players knowing what is acceptable behavior among teammates. When he arrived in Oakland, he made sure the boundary lines were clearly drawn.
"That was a point we tried to make in training camp of not really hazing the rookies because we need everybody," Allen said. "If we're going to get this culture the right way, and if we're going to win football games like we believe we're capable of winning, we're going to need everybody in that locker room."
Philbin said he was unaware of hazing incidents that involved Incognito -- such as hacking into a teammate's Facebook page -- shown on the HBO series "Hard Knocks," which chronicled the Dolphins' training camp in 2012. Philbin said he never watched the program.
"If the review shows that this is not a safe atmosphere, I will take whatever measures are necessary to ensure that it is," Philbin said.
Before being suspended, Incognito posted several tweets saying he wanted his name cleared.
"Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth," Incognito tweeted, quoting Buddha.
Agents for the two players didn't respond to requests for comment. Martin is with his family in Los Angeles for counseling.
Incognito, who's in the final year of a $13 million, three-year contract, has long had a reputation of being among the NFL's dirtiest players. During his first four years, he led the league in penalties for unnecessary roughness, and the St. Louis Rams got fed up with his undisciplined play and released him during the 2009 season.
However, there have been fewer such complaints since Incognito joined the Dolphins in 2010.
Last year he was voted by the league's players into the Pro Bowl for the first time. He was the co-winner of the Dolphins' Good Guy Award, given to the team's most cooperative player by the local media. He also won frequent praise from Dolphins coaches for his leadership.
Staff writers Tim Kawakami and Steve Corkran contributed to this report.
Tim Kawakami asked Stanford coach David Shaw for his thoughts on Jonathan Martin. For a full transcript, go to blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami