It was good to see the New York Jets act quickly and decisively in punishing Sal Alosi, their strength and conditioning coach, for tripping Miami Dolphins player Nolan Carroll on the sideline Sunday. For a moment, we were afraid that Jets coach Rex Ryan might pat Alosi on the back and slip him a fifty, then laugh about it afterward.
Alosi, 33, was fined $25,000 by the Jets and suspended for the remainder of the season, including postseason games, without pay. The Jets probably should have taken it a step further and fired Alosi, but the punishment was significant and Alosi was clearly remorseful when he spoke to the media on Monday.
"My actions were inexcusable and irresponsible," he said, according to the New York Daily News. "I'm extremely thankful that my actions yesterday didn't result in any significant injury."
To his credit, Alosi didn't attempt to offer any sort of explanation for sticking out his knee and tripping Carroll, who was running down the sideline on punt coverage. Alosi was standing with a group of inactive Jets players, none of whom attempted to back away from the sideline.
Asked what he was thinking, Alosi said, "I wasn't thinking. If I could go back again, I would sure as heck take a step back. … That's the problem. Nothing went through my head. I wasn't thinking. Had I been thinking, I'd take a step back instead of leaning forward. … I felt terrible. My heart went into my chest and up into my throat."
Jets general manager Mike Tannenbaum said, "We're extremely disappointed with what he did. There's no place for it in the game. He knows that. It's our job to hold him accountable for that."
Alosi said he didn't offer to resign, and it's clear Ryan didn't want to fire him. "Sal made a huge mistake," Ryan said. "He knows that."
The NFL said it would take no additional action, although it did say it would send a memo to all clubs reminding them to adhere to rules requiring players, coaches and other personnel to keep a proper distance from the sidelines, ESPN New York reported.
If the Jets aren't going to dismiss Alosi, they should at least ban him from standing on the sidelines for as long as he's employed by them. Or maybe someone can explain why a strength and conditioning coach needs to be on the field at all.