The truth in the “DeflateGate” scandal, centered around the level of air in New England Patriots footballs during the AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts, is out.
Independent investigator Ted Wells submitted a report to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on Wednesday (May 6), which is now published online, that concludes some Pats personnel deliberately released air from game balls after they were examined by the referee.
“We have concluded that it is more probable than not that Jim McNally (the Officials Locker Room attendant for the Patriots) and John Jastremski (an equipment assistant for the Patriots) participated in a deliberate effort to release air from Patriots game balls after the balls were examined by the referee,” said the report.
“Based on the evidence, it also is our view that it is more probable than not that Tom Brady (the quarterback for the Patriots) was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities of McNally and Jastremski involving the release of air from Patriots game balls.”
While some were allegedly involved, the report also concluded that other Patriots personnel were not aware.
“We do not believe there was any wrongdoing or knowledge of wrongdoing by Patriots ownership, Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick or any other Patriots coach in the matters investigated,” said the report.
In a statement, Goddell said the league was thankful of Wells’ investigation and will discuss how to move forward.
“I want to express my appreciation to Ted Wells and his colleagues for performing a thorough and independent investigation, the findings and conclusions of which are set forth in today’s comprehensive report,” Goodell wrote. “As with other recent matters involving violations of competitive rules, Troy Vincent and his team will consider what steps to take in light of the report, both with respect to possible disciplinary action and to any changes in protocols that are necessary to avoid future incidents of this type.
“At the same time, we will continue our efforts vigorously to protect the integrity of the game and promote fair play at all times.”
Patriots owner Robert Kraft released his own statement, saying the franchise was “disappointed” in the findings.
“While I respect the independent process of the investigation, the time, effort and resources expended to reach this conclusion are incomprehensible to me. Knowing that there is no real recourse available, fighting the league and extending this debate would prove to be futile. We understand and greatly respect the responsibility of being one of 32 in this league and, on that basis, we will accept the findings of the report and take the appropriate actions based on those findings as well as any discipline levied by the league.”