EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants had two days of
their offseason program taken away Friday for violating the NFL's
collective bargaining agreement under new coach Tom Coughlin.
After receiving several recent complaints from players, Harold
Henderson, the league's executive vice president for labor
relations, and NFLPA executive director Gene Upshaw determined that
the Giants violated rules on the length of workouts and the
scheduling of classroom sessions in the offseason.
Players are allowed to be at locations for weight training and
meetings a total of 4 hours on offseason workout days.
The Giants will not work out next Wednesday and Thursday.
Players will not be permitted to come to Giants Stadium on those
days, but they will be paid the $100 they receive for each
Offseason workouts will resume on June 1.
"We did not intentionally violate any rules," Coughlin said in
a statement released by the Giants. "The issues that have been
brought to our attention will be corrected."
The ruling is an embarrassment for the Giants. They hired the
no-nonsense Coughlin in January after the team posted a 4-12 record
in a season when they were expected to compete for the Super Bowl.
There was a feeling that coach Jim Fassel wasn't tough enough on
Coughlin was expected to restore discipline, but his offseason
workouts have annoyed some players. He has taken away their
three-day weekends and had workouts on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday
Coughlin has also changed the weightlifting program to free
weights, and questioned players who missed voluntary workouts.
The Players Association said this is only the second time team
has had to forfeit offseason workout days. The St. Louis Rams lost
a week last season because they scheduled a workout on a day
players were supposed to have off.
The Kansas City Chiefs were warned last year because of the tone
of their offseason workouts.