Player's mom disheartened by tripping incident

Published Dec. 14, 2010 9:32 a.m. EST

Associated Press

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- A policymaker herself, Jennifer Carroll hopes some good can come from the Jets-Dolphins sideline tripping episode involving her son, with changes in NFL rules to better protect players.

Carroll happens to be Florida's lieutenant governor-elect.

Jets assistant coach Sal Alosi intentionally tripped Dolphins rookie cornerback Nolan Carroll. Alosi was suspended Monday by the Jets for the rest of the season and fined $25,000.

"I think it's being dealt with as fairly as it can be," Jennifer Carroll said in a telephone interview Monday before Alosi's penalties were announced. "Hopefully it will be an opportunity to make some changes along the sideline, so individuals will know they cannot engage in this type of activity just to benefit your team, or to hurt the other players because your team might be losing."

Alosi stuck his left knee out and tripped Carroll, who was covering a punt in the third quarter of Miami's 10-6 win. Alosi later apologized and said his actions were "inexcusable and irresponsible."

Jennifer Carroll said she was watching the game on TV and feared her son had been seriously hurt. He twice broke his right leg, once to end his senior season in high school, and again to end his senior season at Maryland.

The same leg tripped over Alosi. Carroll was shaken up but returned in the fourth quarter. He told his mom after the game Sunday and again on Monday that he was fine.

"Initially I didn't know what occurred," Jennifer Carroll said. "I saw him get pushed out of bounds, then all of a sudden he goes tumbling down. So we've been through that rodeo before, and I go, 'What happened? Did he break another leg? Did he pull a hamstring?' What was it?' ... Thank God it was not worse than it was."

Alosi said he apologized by phone to Nolan Carroll and to Dolphins coach Tony Sparano. Carroll said after the game he was not angry, but he was still sorting out the episode.

"Nolan didn't know what happened," his mom said. "All he knew he was running, and the next minute a shock wave just went through his leg and just crumbled him to the ground. It wasn't until after the fact that he realized what happened.

"It was unsportsmanlike, and hopefully it's a lesson learned, particularly for a strength and conditioning coach. That was another disheartening thing to find out. 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 and body, and he's supposed to be healing these players."

Jennifer Carroll ran with Gov.-elect Rick Scott and won election in November to become the state's first black lieutenant governor.

Received 12/13/10 08:10 pm ET