Deflated Balls Back in the News – NFL Finds Patriots Employees Likely Tampered with Game Balls
An NFL investigation released today claims that New England Patriots employees most likely deflated the footballs used in the AFC Championship.
Another blow for Patriot fans is that the report also states that Tom Brady was probably "at least generally aware" that it had happened.
The investigation started after the Patriot's 45-7 defeat over the Indianapolis Colts in January. Colts players claimed that several of the balls used during the game were under inflated, and it was determined that, in fact, 11 of the 12 balls used did not meet NFL regulations.
The NFL requires that all balls used during a game be inflated between 12.5 and 13.5 pounds per square inch. Each team handles the inflation of their own balls that they will use on offense.
The report explained that ''it was more than probable'' that Jim McNally, the officials locker room attendant, and John Jastremski, an equipment assistant for the Patriots, deliberately released air from the footballs.
The report includes text messages between the two that imply that Brady was requested footballs deflated below the allowed minimum pressure.
The report, which is 243 pages long, also states that it seems coach Bill Belichick and management for the Patriots were unaware that it had happened.