Monday, February 4, 2008

What’s in a Name?

Tom Coughlin is a name shared by two high-profile leaders in their respective fields currently undergoing vastly different experiences.

Tom Coughlin is the head coach of the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants. Exultation would be a mild term to describe his emotions after the Giants upset the 18-0 New England Patriots in Sunday’s Super Bowl, 17-14. Coughlin, who barely survived dismissal last year and earlier in this season’s campaign when his team started 0-2 in giving up 80 points, is expected to be rewarded with a four-year contract extension.

Super Bowl weekend also proved to be good to another Tom Coughlin, the disgraced former vice chairman of Wal-Mart, guilty of stealing more than half a million dollars worth of gift cards from the retail company. A judge ruled on Friday that Coughlin would not have to serve any jail time because of his health. The judge added 1,500 hours of community service to Coughlin’s sentence that also included 27 months of house arrest, five years’ probation, a $50,000 fine and $400,000 in restitution. It is uncertain if the government will appeal the judge’s ruling to keep Coughlin out of jail.

—Murray Forseter

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