The New York Jets’ US$100,000 fine for tripping a Miami Dolphins player during a game is the latest hit to the team’s reputation in a season during which players and coaches were cited for “unprofessional behavior.”
The National Football League (NFL) released a statement on Thursday night saying assistant coaches Sal Alosi and Mike Westhoff had violated league rules. Alosi, who tripped Dolphins special teams player Nolan Carroll, was determined by the league to have placed five Jets players in a prohibited area on the sideline to impede an opposing player.
“This is both a competitive violation as well as a dangerous tactic,” the NFL said.
The Jets, who on Dec. 15 suspended Alosi without pay for the rest of the season, released a -statement on Thursday night saying: “We will comply with the league’s decision.”
The Jets, with a 10-5 record, already have clinched a wild-card playoff spot in the American Football Conference. They finish their regular season tomorrow at home against the Buffalo Bills.
The fine was the latest problem the Jets have had with the league this season. In September, Jets coach Rex Ryan was among the coaches and players accused of “unprofessional behavior” toward a female reporter. The New York Post said Ryan purposely threw passes near TV Azteca reporter Ines Sainz, while some Jets players “hooted and hollered” when she entered the locker room.
Jets owner Woody Johnson paid for a new NFL training program for the league’s 32 teams after that incident. The curriculum focuses on “proper conduct in the workplace,” according to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
Four days after that announcement, receiver Braylon Edwards was charged with driving while intoxicated. Ryan held a team meeting and told his players he was tired of dealing with off-field embarrassments.
Yesterday’s punishment came a day after the NFL fined quarterback Brett Favre US$50,000 for lack of cooperation in its probe of suggestive messages he allegedly sent to a female co-worker while both were with the Jets in 2008. Favre now plays for the Minnesota Vikings.
Jets strength and conditioning coach Alosi tripped Carroll as the rookie ran along the sideline while covering a punt during the third quarter of the Dec. 12 game at New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Television replays showed Alosi’s knee making contact with Carroll, who tumbled to the turf and remained down for several minutes. The Jets lost the game 10-6. The NFL said Alosi had told Jets players to stand in a line along the sideline, forcing Carroll to run around them.
The fine issued yesterday also covers special teams coordinator Westhoff’s public comments accusing other teams of using similar tactics, the NFL said. League policies require clubs to report violations of competitive rules only to the league office.
“The fine has been imposed on the Jets to emphasize the clubs are accountable for the actions of their employees and have the obligation to ensure that all members of their organization comply with league rules,” the NFL said.
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