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Coughlin: 'Meetings start five minutes early'

9/13/2004

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Three New York Giants have filed complaints with the NFL Players Association after being fined by coach Tom Coughlin for not being "early enough" to team meetings.

Linebackers Carlos Emmons and Barrett Green and cornerback Terry Cousin were fined $500 apiece for arriving only a couple of minutes early for a recent meeting, NFLPA spokesman Carl Francis said Monday.

Unless resolved, Francis said the complaints would eventually
become a grievance that would be reviewed by an arbitrator.

Coughlin became annoyed on Monday when asked about his rules for players being on time for meetings.

Coughlin wants players at meetings five minutes before their
scheduled start.

"What's that got to do with talking about the Philadelphia Eagles game? Can we talk about that game," Coughlin said a day
after New York was beaten 31-17 in his Giants coaching debut.

When pressed specifically on players being fined for not being
early enough, Coughlin said a player could not be fined for being
on time.

"Players ought to be there on time, period," Coughlin said.
"If you are on time, you are on time. Meetings start five minutes
early."

Francis said the association has not received any other
complaints from the Giants regarding fines for not being early
enough for a meeting.

However, reports said that Pro Bowl defensive end Michael Strahan was fined $1,000 for not being early enough for a meeting
last week.

"That's between me and everybody else," Coughlin said when
asked about Strahan, then walked out of the media room.

Strahan refused to discuss the alleged fine.

"I have no interest in talking about it," he said. "You heard
it. Talk about football now, not that."