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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Worth an estimated $6 billion by Forbes magazine, Stephen Ross has grown accustomed to success. He built his real estate and development empire with a $10,000 loan from his mother and has helped transform the skylines of cities across the country, including New York and Miami.

But since buying the Miami Dolphins six years ago, Ross had enjoyed little success. The Dolphins have failed to make the playoffs in all that time and the best they finished in any season was a middling 8 and 8.

This was not the outcome Ross expected when he purchased 95 percent of the team for $1.1 billion. He assumed the skills he possessed to be a success in business would translate easily onto the gridiron.

“I want to build that consistent winner,” he told CBS4 News in a rare one-on-one interview. “I believe I will. But the challenge is great. It’s much greater than I thought when I bought the team, I can tell you that. It’s a lot easier to succeed in business than it is having a winning football team on a consistent basis.”

Ross acknowledged there is no manual on how to be an NFL owner.

“It’s on the job learning and no matter how successful you are in life it doesn’t really set you up to run a National Football team,” he said. “Because when you look at it, the way it’s set up every team should go 8 and 8. So how do you get that competitive edge? You know in business you can just hire who you want to hire. You can pay them more money and you can get them. But you can’t do that in the National Football League.”

CLICK HERE To Watch Part One Of The Interview 

Ross’s first year as owner was particularly rocky. He tried to make a big splash early, by making celebrities, such as Venus and Serena Williams and Gloria Estefan, minority owners. He tried to recreate South Beach with a new night club at the stadium, rolled out an orange carpet, and even blinged out the Dolphin fight song by commissioning rapper T-Pain sing it.

CLICK HERE To Watch Part Two Of The Interview 

Ross, 74, was criticized for seeming to care more about the entertainment side of the business rather than concentrating on putting a winning team together. It’s a criticism he bristles against.

“Well certainly what’s on the field to me was always important,” Ross said. “But at the same time I think fans, when they come to the stadium, they want to have a great experience. Football is still entertainment. But when I first started everybody kept saying [celebrity owners and night clubs] is what I was all about, which is about as far from the truth as possible. I mean I bought the team to win, not to be involved in show business or the celebrities. I think sports writers don’t really see the big picture.”

Ross, however, said he refuses to adopt a win at all cost mentality. Asked if he would be willing to acquire Ray Rice, who was caught on video assaulting his fiancé, if he thought it would mean a winning season for the Dolphins, Ross shook his head.

“I don’t think so,” he said. “I think it would send a wrong message as to what the Miami Dolphins are all about. I believe in winning but I don’t believe in winning at any cost and I think you want to show yourself as being a high character team that the community is proud of. And I think that it’s not worth the controversy it would bring.”

Ross said he has established a zero tolerance policy on domestic violence for the Dolphins going forward.

Ross said he continues to support NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, despite the criticism the league faced over how it handled the Rice affair.

“I support him,” Ross said. “I think Roger has done a great job. It’s easy for people after the fact to criticize him, but I know there is nobody who cares more about the image and the character of the NFL and maintaining the integrity of the game. I mean sure you can look back and say, `Could I have done something different?’ I’m sure when he sees that [Rice] tape now, he would have done something different, but he hadn’t seen the tape.”

The interview with Ross took place on the same day the team held a groundbreaking ceremony for the $400 million in renovations to the stadium. Ross had hoped to have taxpayers pay for part of the deal, but was rebuffed by the Florida Legislature.

During the interview, CBS4’s Jim DeFede asked Ross: “If you knew in 2008 that you were going to have to spend this much money to renovate the stadium, would you still have bought the team?”

“Probably,” Ross replied. “It has always been a life-long dream to run, own a sports team and I thought it would be a lot easier to create that winner and do things. Fortunately I was in a position to do it.”

He also said, despite those who believe he may have spent too much for the team, Ross noted, “you’ve also seen the value of that team has appreciated so much during that period of time, so it’s a lot of fun. I feel like I’m living the dream.”

Ross said he continues to support NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, despite the criticism the league faced over how it handled the Rice affair.

Ross had trouble identifying the high point for his time as the team’s owner, but the low point was fairly easy cite – the bullying scandal.

In 2013, player Jonathan Martin abruptly left the team, complaining he was subjected to unrelenting bullying.

“Well certainly it was something that kind of shocked me,” he said. “There again I was appalled by it.”

Initially, Ross created a select committee to examine how to change things. The committee was supposed to include, Don Shula, Dan Marino, Tony Dungy and Jason Taylor. But Ross now admits the committee never actually met.

“No,” he said. “I spoke to them, but I think right now you learn an awful lot when you start something, and where you can take things, and I didn’t want it just to be for show.”

Instead, he said he has been working to create something he plans to call the Ross Institute for Sports and Equality.

“This will be a national non-profit that will have a real impact,” he said. “We’re working on legislation. We’re working with different sports, as opposed to just football. Football isn’t the one sport where there has been a lack of respect and civility in the way people talk to each other and intolerance that people have. It manifests itself when kids first start playing sports. Kids aren’t born, children aren’t born with prejudice, they develop it. And certainly the athletic field is something where everybody has a lot in common and I think we can use that to change a lot of the paradigm that occurs in America today.”

Jim DeFede

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