On Wednesday afternoon, the Jets indefinitely suspended Alosi after having initially announced on Monday night that the Jets strength and conditioning coach was suspended till the end of the season and fined $25,000 dollars.
In the third quarter of Sunday's 10-6 loss at The New Meadowlands Stadium, Alosi stuck his left leg out to trip Carroll after the player was pushed out of bounds on punt coverage. Per former league official Jim Tunney, Carroll "had to get in bounds as quickly as possible and return to the field once he was pushed out." As he continued full stride and began to turn his body, Carroll tripped over Alosi's slightly extended left leg.
The referees missed the play, which Tunney said should have resulted in a personal foul call against the Jets and the ejection of Alosi from the sideline area. The league mandates an area roughly five feet in width where the players along the sideline can not enter so as to keep them clear from the field. Tunney noted that the Jets seemed to be in compliance with the rule "Except for the coach sticking out his leg."
On Monday, Alosi accepted responsibility for the action in what he called an "illogical act." He then received the initial suspension and fine from the Jets later on that day. Then on Tuesday, the Jets investigation into the matter discovered that Alosi had purposefully positioned the players near the sideline on punts so as to impede a "gunner" like Carroll from quickly returning to the field of play. The organization notified the NFL quickly thereafter.
"Over the last day, as we continued our investigation, we discovered some new information—that the players at the Miami game were instructed by Sal to stand where they were to force the gunner in the game to run around them," general manager Mike Tannenbaum said on Wednesday. "Based on that new information, we've suspended Sal indefinitely, pending further review."
The sticking point is Alosi's own words and admissions. On Monday, Alosi had denied to the media that he was involved in any type of positioning of inactive players to provide a sort of wall against special team "gunners" or "flyers."
"No, it wasn't anything that was instructed," Alosi said.
Tannenbaum said he was "disappointed" that Alosi did not come forward with the information initially when the Jets began their own internal investigation. The Jets general manager in addition to head coach Rex Ryan and special teams coordinator Mike Westhoff deny instructing players to group together to form a wall. Westhoff questioned the effectiveness of such a sideline tactic, asking "Does it help you on the sideline? I think it's ridiculous. I don't do it, nor do I care if anyone else does it."
Ryan has come under fire with this incident continuing a long string of back page stories for the Jets this year.
From a prolonged training camp holdout to a star players DWI arrest in September, a sexual harassment claim filed by a female reporter just weeks into the season and now this incident, the Jets coach is being questioned for running to loose of a ship. Having lost two straight games, both to divisional rivals, Ryan denies having knowledge of or instructing players to form any type of a wall. The Jets head coach would rather focus on getting another grasp of a season that is suddenly spiraling downward for the now 9-4 Jets.
"Certainly, it was something that I was not aware of," Ryan said. "So I don't see how anybody else was aware of it."
But the players apparently were aware of it. Tight end Jeff Cumberland was among the group of inactive players standing near Alosi when the coach tripped Carroll. He said that the group of inactive players have been instructed in the past to stand away from the sidelines during play but to huddle together like that during punts.
"Basically at the beginning of the year, we've been instructed to stay away from the [side]line and at punt return, step forward," said Jeff Cumberland.
It was a point that fellow inactive player Vladimir Ducasse, a second round pick in this past spring's NFL Draft, concurs with. Both Cumberland and Ducasse say that it was Alosi's responsibility to maintain the group of inactive players and manage them so that they don't get to close to the sideline. It is common for NFL teams to assign such a duty to a member of team personnel like a strength and conditioning coach.
"It is something we're told to do, to stand there along the sideline like that during punt return," Ducasse said shrugging. "It's for whatever reason."
Kristian R. Dyer can be followed at twitter.com/kdyer1012 for Jets news.