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NYU proposes initiatives to combat bullying

MIAMI (AP) - In the wake of the Miami Dolphins' bullying scandal, the NYU sports and society program has proposed a range of initiatives for youth athletics to combat intolerant behavior in sports.

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The program issued a white paper Tuesday examining the problem. Work on the paper began after Stephen Ross, the Dolphins' owner, approached NYU law dean Trevor Morrison in December to discuss ways to increase civility and respect in sports and society at large.

''We must work together toward a culture of civility and mutual respect for one another,'' Ross said in a statement. ''Something needs to be done so that every man and woman, young and old, can participate in sports on all levels and find a positive and meaningful experience. We will use this opportunity to make a positive change.''

The white paper was written by professor Arthur R. Miller and other faculty who are members of the sports and society program.

''Bullying in sports is only one aspect of a larger phenomenon of harmful behavior in many spheres of society: schools, workplaces, social, and community settings,'' the paper said. ''Although many government, educational, and other social institutions have done some work to curb bullying behavior in their ranks, these efforts often are not coordinated or comprehensive enough to change the existing culture.'' The paper then proposes a youth education initiative to combat racism and other forms of intolerance in sports, and to promote a culture of respect.''

Among the measures proposed are:

- The development of a curriculum to educate young athletes, coaches and parents on respectful conduct.

- A uniform code of respectful conduct for all levels of youth athletics.

- A pledge in which sports participants on all levels commit, on a recurring basis, to treat others with respect, identify bullying and speak out against it.

An investigation for the NFL determined Dolphins guard Richie Incognito and two other offensive linemen engaged in persistent harassment of tackle Jonathan Martin, another offensive lineman and an assistant trainer.

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