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Fired Miami Dolphins trainer wins NFL trainer of the year award

By John Breech | CBSSports.com

Former Dolphins athletic trainer Kevin O'Neill was honored on Friday. (MiamiDolphins.com)
Former Dolphins athletic trainer Kevin O'Neill was honored on Friday. (MiamiDolphins.com)

The best athletic trainer in the NFL isn't even an athletic trainer in the NFL anymore. Former Dolphins trainer Kevin O'Neill, who was fired by the team on Wednesday, was honored with the 2014 Fain-Cain Memorial Award for Outstanding Athletic Trainer of the Year by the NFL Physician's Society on Friday.

According to the Professional Football Athletic Trainer's website, the award is given to the athletic trainer 'who best reflects the virtues of a certified athletic trainer and displays the highest level of professionalism.' The executive board of the NFLPS is responsible for selecting the winner each year.

O'Neill was in Indianapolis on Wednesday when the Dolphins fired him, but he wasn't in attendance for Friday's ceremony. According to ESPN.com, Dolphins assistant trainer Troy Maurer accepted the award for O'Neill and read a statement on behalf of the fired athletic trainer.

The award given to O'Neill marks the second time in less than a year that he's been honored for his work as an athletic trainer. Back in June, O'Neill was named the recipient of the 2013 Tim Kerin Award for Excellence in Athletic Training. O'Neill was only the fifth NFL trainer to win the award, which has been handed out since 1994.

O'Neill won't be winning anymore awards with the Dolphins though because he was let go on Wednesday along with offensive line coach Jim Turner. Both moves came after Dolphins owner Stephen Ross had a chance to review the Ted Wells report. In a statement, Ross said that he felt that both men exhibited 'poor judgment' and therefore had to be let go.

In the report, Wells noted that O'Neill was uncooperative and 'expressed hostility toward our investigation.' O'Neill had been with the Dolphins since 1996 and had been in the NFL since 1990 when he was the head trainer for Jimmy Johnson's Dallas Cowboys.

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