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Jets coach who tripped Dolphins player suspended, fined

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Turns out this was one costly trip for Sal Alosi.

The New York Jets assistant coach who tripped a Miami Dolphins player during Sunday's game was suspended by the team Monday night without pay for the rest of the season, including the playoffs, and fined $25,000.

Alosi, the strength and conditioning coach, began serving his suspension immediately and will have no access to the team's practice facility.

"I accept responsibility for my actions and respect the team's decision," Alosi said in a statement.

General manager Mike Tannenbaum said Alosi will also not be allowed to interact with any players or coaches "as it pertains to his job function." He added that the team spoke with the NFL about the incident throughout the day, and the league will issue no further discipline.

"Hopefully we're going to learn from what happened yesterday and take full responsibility for it," Tannenbaum said. "We're really disappointed with Sal, with what happened, and we're going to hold him accountable for his actions."

Alosi stuck out his left knee on the sideline and tripped Dolphins cornerback Nolan Carroll, who was covering a punt in the third quarter of Miami's 10-6 win Sunday.

"I let everybody down yesterday with my actions," said Alosi, fighting back tears during a news conference earlier Monday. "My actions were inexcusable and irresponsible."

Carroll, a rookie, fell to the turf and lay there for several minutes before walking off.

"That's a thing that has no business in this league," coach Rex Ryan said, "or anywhere else."

Alosi said he apologized by phone to both Carroll and Dolphins coach Tony Sparano on Sunday, and spoke to Ryan, Tannenbaum and Jets owner Woody Johnson about the situation.

Ryan issued a public apology to Carroll and the Dolphins at his news conference.

"I was stunned that something like this actually took place," Ryan said.

Ryan added that he admired the fact Alosi never denied what he did, and "that he stood up and he took responsibility."

"I know I'll get killed for it," Ryan said. "There's no place for it in football, without question, but he made a mistake and he admitted it."

Alosi was standing next to several inactive players right on the edge of the sideline as Carroll came zipping by, leading some to speculate that perhaps the incident was planned.

"We don't coach that," Tannenbaum said, echoing earlier comments by Ryan and Alosi.

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Alosi was first with the Jets from 2001-05, then worked for the Falcons for one season before he was hired by then-New York coach Eric Mangini in 2007 to be the head strength and conditioning coach.

Now with the Cleveland Browns, Mangini described Alosi as "a good person."

"He made a dumb mistake," Mangini said. "If he could take it back, I'm sure he would. It's disappointing it happened. I'm sorry for the whole situation."

Alosi will be replaced for the rest of the season by his assistant, Bryan Dermody.

Alosi was a linebacker for Hofstra from 1996-2000, and even earned an award for sportsmanship and fair play both on and off the field during his college career.

"You're asking me to give you a logical explanation to an illogical act," he said. "I can't do that. I can't explain that."

Carroll, who returned in the fourth quarter, twice broke his right leg while playing: once ending his senior season in high school and again in his senior season at Maryland.

"I'm extremely thankful that my actions yesterday didn't result in any significant injury to Nolan or any other players," Alosi said.

Carroll's mother, Jennifer, is Florida's lieutenant governor-elect. She was disappointed to find out it was a strength and conditioning coach who did it.

"Here's a person that's on the team that understands the injuries of these players incurred day in and day out just from normal wear and tear," she said. "He's supposed to be healing these players and making them 100 percent to go out and execute and do their jobs."

She was also thankful her son escaped serious injury.

"It could have been a debilitating situation," she said. "If it were lower to his knee, he could have busted a knee cap. It could have put him out for the season or even for his career."

Dolphins linebacker Karlos Dansby took a swipe at Ryan after the game when he heard about the incident.

"He's just taking after the head coach, man. It all trickles downhill," Dansby said. "That's how I look at it, it trickles downhill. The head coach, he opened a can of worms over there and now he's got to fix it."

It's the latest embarrassing incident for the team that starred on HBO's "Hard Knocks" during the summer.

The Jets were investigated by the NFL in September for their treatment of a female television reporter. The league responded to the situation involving Ines Sainz of TV Azteca by developing a workplace conduct program, underwritten by Johnson.

A few weeks later, wide receiver Braylon Edwards was arrested for drunken driving.

Star cornerback Darrelle Revis was ticketed for speeding while driving to the team's facility for a meeting before a practice in October.

Ryan hopes this latest incident doesn't negatively affect the perception of the team.

"This is a terrible thing that happened, there's no doubt," he said. "We had a DUI, I know we had all that stuff. I'd rather not rehash all that, but it would be an unfortunate thing if that were the case."

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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