Sash's agent blasts NFL appeals

Giants coach Coughlin also defends former Hawkeye

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March 31, 2014 | 10:30 pm

Jack Bechta, agent for former Hawkeye and current New York Giant Tyler Sash, backed Sash's explanation Wednesday that the second-year safety violated the NFL's Performance Enhancing Drug policy after he took a prescription drug that he didn't know was illegal in the league.

Bechta also went after the NFL's rules on this matter.

“I am extremely disappointed with the league's ruling pertaining to Tyler Sash's suspension for testing positive for Adderall,” Bechta said in a statement released to the New York Daily News. “As the policy stands right now there is little or no latitude for the league to interpret special circumstances as there was in this case and apply common sense for the obvious pure intentions of Tyler's need for medical care.

“It is obvious from the timing of the positive test that Tyler's intent was not to gain any advantage of performance enhancement as there are zero physical or competitive requirements of him for anything during the month of March.”

The bullet points here are that the NFL's policy is strict and players who entered the league last season had a sped up education process for the ins and outs before of the NFL lockout.

Sash said in a statement yesterday that he used Adderall to treat anxiety about public speaking. He said he didn't know it was against the rules and that he took the prescription drug under a doctor's care. Sash had his appeal denied by the league.

“Unfortunately, like many NFL players have experienced, the appeal process is usually an exercise in futility,” Bechta said. “After a passionate explanation during the appeal of the circumstances involved, the NFL ultimately denied the appeal.

“This is a young man who has done everything right, and who had never failed a test for any illegal substance or performance enhancing substance in his career, including college. He has been a good citizen, a good teammate, and has never troubled anyone. For players who came into the league in a lockout year and were rushed through the process of being prepared to play, in my eyes were at a distinct disadvantage to the educational process offered to rookies about the protocol for obtaining exemptions for specific prescriptions.”

After practice Wednesday, Giants coach Tom Coughlin also defended Sash.

“I read the information. I feel very badly about that for the player,” Coughlin told reporters. “I mean, this kid really had no intention of doing anything illegally. I know what the definition of the rule is and I understand all about that and I’ve been there myself when you’ve had to ask yourself about (taking certain substances).

“But sometimes you’d think maybe common sense needs to be involved in this. And I feel bad for the kid.”

Coughlin called Sash, a sixth-round pick last year who played in all 20 games as a rookie, “a heart-and-soul football player. He takes everything he has and puts it into the game.”

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