The New York Jets have handed down their discipline to Sal Alosi after the team's strength and conditioning coach intentionally tripped Dolphins cornerback Nolan Carroll while he was covering a punt during Sunday's game between the teams.
The Jets acted swiftly, with the proper amount of indignation, and Alosi has apologized both in a statement and in front of cameras. More importantly, he called coach Tony Sparano to apologize and allegedly called Carroll as well.
And all that is well and good.
But is the matter closed?
The Dolphins seem to want it that way, judging by Sparano's statement on Monday. In fact, the Dolphins seem more eager to have this go away than the Jets.
"I’m not going to get into it a whole lot here fellas, but to be honest with you it’s out of my hands," Sparano said. "It’s in a million other people’s hands right now but not in mine. So, at the end of the day the outcome…I don’t like what happened because a player could’ve gotten hurt, seriously hurt. But, that’s where it is."
That is the stable, measured response.
I am not a stable, measured guy. Mostly, I'm not stable. I was seriously peeved about the Jets move, not just because Alosi did an unsportsmanlike and dirty thing but because in a year when the NFL theme is player safety, this person decides he can deliver a cheap shot on an opposing player because, well, the idea came to him.
That cheap shot could have easily caused serious injury to Carroll, who has suffered broken legs twice in his career.
It also makes me angry that no one is seriously looking at this video and finding out exactly why the Jets had six people lined up in formation along the sideline that Carroll was going to run past? You think that was a coincidence? You think that just happened because those guys wanted a better view of the action?
I have zero proof, but I believe that "formation" was premeditated by someone to gain a competitive advantage. Check the video for yourself and decide.
So where do we go from here?
Well, Alosi is suspended for the remainder of this season and his fine is indeed steep at $25,000. But I say the Dolphins should be more active in penalizing Alosi.
Look, this is going to sound strange at first but hear me out: I believe the Dolphins should inform the Jets that Alosi is suspended from being on the sideline at Sun Life Stadium for one game, the next one he is scheduled to travel with his team to Miami.
You might argue that is handing down punishment on another team's personnel. I argue it is protecting the integrity of your own sidelines, your house, not to mention sending a strong signal that Dolphins players wear numbers, not targets, and if you mess with them intentionally, you will get a response from the organization.
Even if the league balks at such a move -- and, yes, the league is contacted by all teams on all such matter before they are taken -- the Dolphins should ask the league for permission to do this. And if the league balks, then the Dolphins should announce their desire to have banned Alosi the next time the Jets come to Miami.
The league should think of it as protecting Alosi as much as anything because, I assure you, the next time he roams the sideline in Miami, he will hear the crowd's displeasure. Well, he'd hear the crowd's displeasure if Dolphins fans were a bit more emotional and indignant about what happened Sunday.