FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - The NFL came down hard on the Jets yesterday, slapping them with a $100,000 fine for the Sal Alosi sideline wall incident and Mike Westhoff's subsequent comments implying that the Patriots also have utilized the tactic.
Alosi, the Jets' strength and conditioning coach, ordered players to create a sideline wall during their Dec. 12 game against the Dolphins in an attempt to keep Miami's special- teamers from running out of bounds during punts. Alosi, a Massapequa native and former Hofstra football player, also tripped Miami gunner Nolan Carroll in that game. The Jets fined him $25,000 and suspended him indefinitely for that action.
The Jets denied that anyone else knew about Alosi's order to form the wall. Westhoff, their longtime special-teams coordinator, said he had no knowledge of it. Westhoff, however, told a Chicago radio station that he went back and watched footage of other teams and hinted that he saw New England do something similar.
In a statement, the league said the placement of players in a prohibited area on the sideline to impede an opposing team's special-teams players and gain a competitive advantage "is both a competitive violation as well as a dangerous tactic."
The NFL also made it clear that it wasn't happy with Westhoff's comments, saying: "Both the NFL Constitution and Bylaws and other league policies require clubs to report actual or suspected violations of competitive rules by other teams only to the league office and not to engage in public criticism of other clubs."
The Jets had little to say about the fine, which was announced just after 5:30 p.m. "We will comply with the league's decision," a team spokesman said.
Yesterday's fine was just the most recent off-the-field headline for the Jets, who've grown accustomed to being in the public spotlight for the wrong reasons in the last 11 months.
Rex Ryan was caught making an obscene gesture to a fan during a mixed martial arts event in South Florida in January and was fined $50,000 by the team. There also was Ryan's extensive cursing during the filming of HBO's "Hard Knocks" during training camp in August.
In September, the Jets were investigated by the NFL when Ines Sainz, a female reporter with TV Azteca, said she felt uncomfortable in the team's locker room and was subjected to catcalls. The NFL mandated that the Jets underwrite and help develop a program to explain proper workplace conduct.
On Sept. 21, Braylon Edwards was arrested for DUI in Manhattan after blowing a blood-alcohol level of .16 - twice the legal limit. The case has been adjourned until next month.
In October, a report surfaced that said Brett Favre sent explicit text messages to Jenn Sterger, a former game-day on-field hostess, while Favre was with the Jets in 2008. The NFL ruled Wednesday that Favre didn't violate the league's personal-conduct policy but fined him $50,000 for failing to cooperate with the investigation.
Just last week, an Internet report surfaced on deadspin.com showing a barefoot woman who strongly resembles Ryan's wife, Michelle, talking about a foot fetish in four videos - another embarrassing incident in a season full of them.