During the New York Jets’ 10-6 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday afternoon, the Jets’ strength and conditioning coach intentionally tripped Miami cornerback Nolan Carroll as he ran out of bounds on punt coverage.
The rookie fell to the turf while running down the sideline, and the Jets’ Sal Alosi later admitted he interfered with Carroll.
“I made a mistake that showed a total lapse in judgment,” Alosi said in a statement. “My conduct was inexcusable and unsportsmanlike and does not reflect what this organization stands for. I spoke to Coach [Tony] Sparano and Nolan Carroll to apologize before they took off. I have also apologized to Woody [Johnson], Mike [Tannenbaum] and Rex [Ryan]. I accept responsibility for my actions as well as any punishment that follows.”
Carroll said he was not angry about the incident. But his teammates were fired up.
“They’re cheaters,” Dolphins inside linebacker Channing Crowder said. “They do what they do. They cheat. They talk junk. But we beat the hell out of them today.
“I wish they’d tripped me. I’d have broken that old man’s leg. I didn’t see anything. He stuck his leg out and tripped him? He should be ashamed of himself. A grown man from the coaching staff? That’s high character.”
Running back Ricky Williams said: “It’s the Jets right? We’re not surprised.”
NFL spokesperson Greg Aiello told ESPNNewYork.com via e-mail that the league will review items like this Monday and through the week.
Jets coach Rex Ryan said he was just told about the incident when he was stepping to the podium, so he deferred all questions on it until he got a chance to see what happened.
“The team is reviewing the situation and is looking into the appropriate next steps,” Jets public relations chief Bruce Speight said in a statement.
Sparano said he would submit the play to the NFL for a review.
“There was a player down on the sideline, and that’s not good,” Sparano said. “We’re trying to take care of players in this game.”
Alosi, 33, is a former Hofstra linebacker who joined the Jets as a strength and conditioning intern in 2001. He worked for the Atlanta Falcons before returning to the Jets in 2006.
CBS Sports replays showed Alosi stick his knee out and lean toward the field. Carroll tripped and fell down and needed to be attended to by medical staff on the Jets sideline during the third quarter of the game but eventually returned.
In the locker room, Carroll, whose mother is Florida politician Jennifer Carroll, the lieutenant governor-elect for the state, was not sure how he landed on the ground on the play. He said he felt contact but couldn’t be sure what it was until he looked at film.
“I just remember running and then next thing I know I’m on the ground, ‘What happened?’” Carroll said. “I remember I split the double-team and after that couldn’t tell you what happened.”
Dolphins defensive end Kendall Langford said of the trip: “That was bad. Unfortunately, he had to do that, and he really could have hurt Nolan. He could have ended his career with that. I think maybe somebody needs to do something about that as far as the league goes. I think he should get fined. We get fined for illegal stuff. Why can’t the coaches?”
Crowder isn’t expecting a fine.
“You can spit in people’s face nowadays in the league and not get fined,” Crowder, who was referring to an incident earlier this season in which the NFL decided against imposing any fines after investigating complaints by the Dolphins that Baltimore fullback Le’Ron McClain spit in Crowder’s face, told ESPNNewYork.com.
Upon seeing a photo of Alosi’s trip, Dolphins inside linebacker Karlos Dansby called for a suspension or even a permanent dismissal.
“Four games? The rest of the season? Suspend him, man,” Dansby said. “Get him up out of there. He’s got to go, bringing down a whole organization like that. That’s sad. You don’t do a man like that.”
In 2000, as a senior at Hofstra, Alosi was presented with the Mayor’s Trophy, which, according to the university’s media guide, is “symbolic of good sportsmanship and fair play both on and off the field of competition.”