New York Giants safety Tyler Sash was suspended for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs after testing positive for Adderall. Unfortunately, Sash was taking the medication under doctor’s supervision and had no clue he was doing anything wrong.
The second-year safety will be suspended for the first four games of the regular season, but is able to participate in training camp and preseason.
What’s intriguing about the situation is the NFL’s refusal to lessen Sash’s punishment due to the circumstances.
“I feel bad for the kid,” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said in a press conference, via the New York Post. “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 also insisted that common sense needed to be used when dealing with this situation, citing Sash’s character and his intentions under doctor’s supervision.
The NFL’s decision to uphold Sash’s suspension is confusing because of the precedence the league has set in the past when handling this situation.
Giants running back and Sash’s teammate Andre Brown tested positive for Adderall in the offseason only to have his suspension lifted entirely and Houston Texans punter Brett Hartmann had his reduced from four games to three.
Sash and Green Bay Packers defensive lineman Mike Neal have not been as lucky, despite questioning the league’s decision to suspend them.
After an impressive rookie campaign for New York, Sash is expected to be a key player for the Giants defense, primarily as the replacement for veteran safety Deon Grant. He starred on special teams in 2011, finishing the year with 17 tackles and two forced fumbles.
Unfortunately, Sash will have to start his sophomore season watching from the sidelines while he awaits the end of his suspension.