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Coughlin: NFL should apply “common sense” in Tyler Sash case

Tom Coughlin

New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin gestures during a news conference following the team’s workout at the New York Giants NFL football training camp in Albany, N.Y., Sunday, July 29, 2012. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)


Giants safety Tyler Sash has been suspended four games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs, but Sash says he did nothing more than take the medication Adderall under a doctor’s supervision. As a result, Giants coach Tom Coughlin thinks the NFL should give Sash a break.

This kid really had no intention of doing anything that was illegal. I know what the definition of the rule is, and I understand all about that; I’ve been there myself . . . but you have to ask yourself, sometimes common sense needs to be involved,” Coughlin said.

Coughlin said Sash is a hard-working player and a good young man who doesn’t deserve to miss four games for an honest mistake.

“I feel bad for the kid,” Coughlin said. “He is a heart-and-soul football player; he takes everything that he has and puts it into the game. He loves to play. We used him in a very, very important role last year as a rookie, fullback on the punt team. So there’s no issue with this young man. He doesn’t need any watchdog over him. Ignorance is no excuse of the law, I understand; but he knows what is expected and he does it.”

Coughlin is right that something doesn’t quite add up with the way the NFL has disciplined players who have said they tested positive for Adderall. The league lifted Giants running back Andre Brown’s suspension completely and reduced the suspension of Texans punter Brett Hartmann but will apparently force Sash to miss four games, even though all three players say they took the same prescription medication. The NFL ought to clarify the matter, but the confidentiality of the drug policy means it won’t.

And that means Coughlin and others will continue to look at the NFL’s prohibition of Adderall and say that it’s lacking in common sense.