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Tom Coughlin is not happy with Pierre-Paul video

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Tom Coughlin is not happy with Pierre-Paul video

From Comcast SportsNet
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Tom Coughlin talked about the usual pros and cons after watching the video of the Giants' preseason win over the Jets, and the report on injuries to running back Ahmad Bradshaw and rookie cornerback Jayron Hosley seemed OK. What the Giants coach had a problem with Sunday was a video of Pro Bowl defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul throwing second-year cornerback Prince Amukamara into an ice bath at training camp at the University at Albany. It was tweeted by punter Steve Weatherford before Saturday's 26-3 win over the Jets, and it contains some inappropriate language. The incident also could be considered either hazing -- although that's odd for a second-year player -- or even bullying. Some might explain it as camp bonding, but Amukamara doesn't look amused. Neither was Coughlin. "I'm learning about that today," Coughlin said. "I really didn't have any information about that until maybe an hour ago, an hour before this conference call. I'm going to look into it; I'm going to talk to the parties involved." It was not clear whether Coughlin had seen the video of Pierre-Paul carrying a non-resistant Amukamara through a hallway as teammates followed, some shouting inappropriate comments. Once Pierre-Paul reaches the ice tubs he seems to fling Amukamara into the water. The cornerback gets out of the water quickly but the look on his face suggests he is upset. "Anything that occurs within this family or within our group should not be a part of any social media aspect," Coughlin said. "I'm going to address that strongly, and I've spent a little time on that this preseason, but I'll look into it further." Giants players were off Sunday. Amukamara told the Star-Ledger of Newark after the game that he was confused getting thrown into the bath since he was no longer a rookie, but he said: "I know it's all love. Yeah, no one ever likes it, especially when it's you vs. eight and no one's helping you. But it doesn't mess up our team morale or anything." While the video attracted the most attention Sunday, the good news for the Super Bowl champions (No. 3 in the AP Pro32) was that Bradshaw seemingly has only a bruised right hand after it hit a helmet and popped a cyst on his hand in the process. Hosley, who made the biggest play of the game returning a second-quarter interception 77 yards for a touchdown, has a case of turf toe on his right foot. It was in a cast after the game. "Hopefully nothing will turn up in terms of all the tests, and then it's going to be something that is going to be very sore," Coughlin said. "There's no doubt. How he is able to deal with it will indicate how fast he can get back on the practice field." Hosley was on the field for only seven plays. The third-round draft pick out of Virginia Tech did not know on which play he was hurt. If there was an area of concern for the Giants, it was their running game, which finished last in the league in 2011. They gained 58 yards on 32 carries, a horrible 1.8-yard average. Coughlin said the Jets used a lot of fronts, more than he expected for a preseason game. "That's going to be very helpful," Coughlin said. "I didn't like it, a lot of it, and we certainly had our share of mistakes, and our second and third guys were kind of swimming a little bit. But I don't think there's any question about the value of it. Having experienced it this early in the season, the benefit will be going forward." Coughlin was not sure how long linebacker Mark Herzlich (hip pointer) and defensive end Adrian Tracy (minor hamstring) would be sidelined.

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The NBA wants to end the one-and-done rule and they absolutely should

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USA Today Sports Images

The NBA wants to end the one-and-done rule and they absolutely should

The NBA is building momentum towards a significant change in their draft entry rules. NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has been outspoken about his preference to change the so-called one-and-done rule. On Thursday, he met with the newly created Commission on College Basketball in Washington, D.C. to discuss the subject.

The meeting was first reported by ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, who says the league could once again let high school players be drafted. The compromise could be a rule requiring those who go to college to stay for at least two years. That would be similar to Major League Baseball, which requires three years of college. The NFL requires players to be out of high school for three years.

Would a similar rule be a good idea for the NBA? While the players' union would like the option to go straight from high school, there was a reason the one-and-done rule was implemented in the 2006 collective bargaining agreement. The perception back then was that players left for the NBA too early and many flamed out because of it. The thought was that some players would have had better careers if they were older and more experienced when they became professionals.

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Darius Miles, Kwame Brown, Eddy Curry and Sebastian Telfair are notorious cases of draft busts who came out of high school. Many wondered if those guys would have been better off with a year in college to adjust to life on their own and with an intermediary step up in competition.

But there are important differences in the NBA's structure nowadays. Now there is a robust minor league system with G-League affiliates all over the country. There are also two-way contracts, allowing teams to pay more money to a prospect and have more flexibility in bringing them up to the NBA. Players don't have to adjust as quickly as they used to.

The G-League is going to continue to expand and the perception keeps changing. Now, it is more common to see players have a stint in the G-League either for development purposes or rehabilitation. Player development of baseball players is different, but the MLB's well-established minor league system is the reason why their rule allowing high school players to go pro really works.

The one year in college under the one-and-done rule, however, does allow NBA teams to get a better read on draft prospects. Instead of evaluating guys exclusively in high school and AAU, they get to see them play in the ACC, SEC and other big college conferences.

NBA front offices may be hurt by it, but the time is right to go back to high school players entering the pros. Things are much different than they were in 2006 and the league can handle it. Ending the one-and-done rule would be better for the players and it should also make a lot of college basketball fans happy.

That is the good of what the NBA is considering, however, the rule requiring two years of college should not be part of the equation. If the NBA wants to grant some freedom, then actually do it. Some players may need just one year of college and nothing more. Don't punish them for it.

The two-year requirement seems like a very bad idea, but it could be part of the deal. Either way, it seems like the one-and-done rule could come to an end sooner than later.

[PODCAST: BRADLEY BEAL GOES 1-ON-1]

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Vrana returns and other morning notes ahead of Saturday's game against the Wild

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USA TODAY Sports

Vrana returns and other morning notes ahead of Saturday's game against the Wild

Coming off a poor two-game road trip, Capitals Coach Barry Trotz elected to keep his lineup mostly familiar with Bruce Boudreau and a hot Wild team coming to town.

Here’s how they’re expected to line up tonight on F Street:

Forwards
Stephenson – Backstrom – Oshie
Ovechkin – Kuznetsov – Smith-Pelly
Vrana – Eller – Wilson
Connolly – Beagle – Chiasson
Extra: Walker

Defense
Orpik – Carlson
Orlov – Niskanen
Chorney – Bowey
Extra: Ness

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Now for some notes, quotes and observations from the morning skate:

  • Braden Holtby (10-4-0/2.68 gaa/.918 Sv%) is scheduled to return to the net for Washington. It’s likely Devan Dubnyk will get the nod for Minnesota, which has won four games in row. Dubnyk (8-6-1/2.28 gaa/.922 Sv%) earned shutouts in three of those games.
  • After getting smoked 6-3 and 6-2 in Nashville and Colorado, respectively, the Caps are looking to get things back on track at home, where they’ll play the next four games in a row and nine of the next 10. The good news? T.J. Oshie and Co. have won their last four games on home ice after a 1-3 start there.
  • The only lineup change for the Caps is Jakub Vrana returning after sitting out Thursday as a healthy scratch. Vrana has two points—both goals—in his last 13 games...and one was scored into an empty net.
  • Trotz was pretty direct when asked where his team needs to improve after a couple of ugly losses on the road. “We were executing, playing pretty solid and in a groove, if you will,” Trotz said of the Caps winning five of six games to start the month. “But it’s gone off the rails a little bit here in the last two games. We’re the only ones that can get it back. …We’ve had too many passengers. Everything starts with our best players. Tonight, we’re going to need our best players to be the best players because everyone else will follow.”
  • Christian Djoos, who suffered an upper-body injury in Nashville and missed the Colorado game, did not skate Saturday. “I don’t know exactly when he’s going to skate yet,” Trotz said. “He’s still day-to-day with the trainers. Once they tell me he can skate, he’ll be out there.”
  • Tyler Graovac, in Hershey on a long-term conditioning stint, figures to be back soon. He’s got a goal and an assist in two games with the Bears. Although the stint is set to end this weekend, Trotz said he plans to talk to Graovac and that his stay in Hershey could be extended to a fourth or fifth game with the player’s permission. “I’ve set it up with him and I have good communication with him,” Trotz said. “[So] if he needs a fourth or a fifth game, we’ll talk and we’ll decide. …There’s a possibility that he could return as soon as Monday or as late as next Friday.” 

 

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