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Pats suspend Terry Glenn

The Associated Press

SMITHFIELD, R.

Thursday, August 16, 2001

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – New England Patriots wide receiver Terry Glenn, already suspended four games by the NFL, has been suspended by the team for the entire season, coach Bill Belichick said Wednesday.

Glenn has not shown up at training camp since Aug. 3, when he received word of his league suspension for violating the terms of its substance-abuse program.

Belichick said he was disappointed, but decided it was time to concentrate on the players in camp. He said the decision was solely because of Glenn’s extended absence and unrelated to other issues.

”This is about being in training camp and playing football,” Belichick said. ”I’ve extended myself and I think the coaching staff has extended itself pretty far.

”I’m going to spend my time and my energy with the players that are here.”

The team discussed options, including a trade, before suspending Glenn. Belichick said it was his decision, and he notified owner Robert Kraft, whom he said was ”supportive.”

The day Glenn left camp, the Patriots sent a standard letter to both his agent, James Gould, and Glenn warning that he risked suspension for the season if he did not return in five days.

Gould said he was trying to set up a meeting with the team when he was told Tuesday that Glenn had been suspended without pay and placed on the reserve-left squad list. He said Glenn had wanted to return to camp.

Gould said the team also is taking away Glenn’s $11.5 million signing bonus.

”I was just asking for a meeting because we were on our way back,” Gould said. ”It proves they never wanted him there.”

Belichick said that was not the case.

”I fully expect for Terry to be with the New England Patriots in the future,” the coach said.

The NFL suspended Glenn for the first four games of the regular season for violating terms of its substance-abuse program, which Glenn entered in January 2000. Glenn said he tested positive for marijuana.

Glenn claimed his most recent violation was missing a drug test, even though he’d alerted the program’s administrators he would be out of town. He later took the test and tested negative, Glenn said.

Gould said Glenn left training camp because he hadn’t been paid since June 15.

”They owe him money and that’s why he’s not there,” he said. ”He was at training camp without receiving one penny, yet they felt they had the right to compel him to be there.”

Glenn signed a six-year, $50 million contract extension last year that included an $11.5 million signing bonus. In June, the Patriots withheld a $1 million payment on the bonus until he worked out personal problems.

In May, he was charged with assault and battery at his home. The alleged victim, the mother of his 5-year-old son, has since recanted the charges, but Norfolk County prosecutors are still pursuing the case.

By league rules, if a player is put on the reserve-left list, he cannot be activated for the season, and cannot be released or traded.

”I asked them if I could broker a trade or just release him, and they said they weren’t interested,” Gould said. ”The Patriots might tell you this is tough love, but you might as well take the ‘love’ out of it.”

Glenn, 27, is fourth among all-time Patriots receivers in number of catches, averaging 14.2 yards in his 315 receptions. He’s also scored 21 touchdowns.

He started all 16 games last season and led the team with 963 yards receiving and six touchdowns while catching 79 passes.