Spygate: De­fend­ing the de­stroyed ev­i­dence

The Covington News - - Sports -

tap­ing and tak­ing of sig­nals from op­po­nents — it is some­thing done widely in many sports. I think it prob­a­bly had lim­ited, if any ef­fect, on the out­come of games.

“That doesn’t change my per­spectve on vi­o­lat­ing rules and the need to be pun­ished.”

NFL se­cu­rity con­fis­cated a video cam­era and tape from a Pa­tri­ots em­ployee dur­ing New Eng­land’s 38-14 win over the New York Jets in the sea­son opener. He was ac­cused of aiming his cam­era at the Jets’ de­fen­sive coaches as they sig­naled to play­ers on the field.

Good­ell fined Belichick $500,000 and docked the team $250,000 and a first-round draft pick. It was the big­gest fine ever for a coach and the first time in NFL his­tory a first-round draft pick has been con­fis­cated as a penalty.

Good­ell said there were six tapes, some from 2007 pre­sea­son games and the rest from 2006. An­other rea­son he de­stroyed them was one tape was leaked to the me­dia just af­ter the Pa­tri­ots-Jets game.

“We wanted to take and de­stroy that in­for­ma­tion,” he said. “They may have col­lected it within the rules, but we couldn’t de­ter­mine that. So we felt that it should be de­stroyed.”

Specter, the top Repub­li­can on the Se­nate Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee, said the is­sue could put the league’s an­titrust ex­emp­tion at risk.

Good­ell was asked a half­dozen times about el­e­ments of the scan­dal, which has touched a nerve with nearly ev­ery­one who fol­lows the NFL — par- tic­u­larly with the Pa­tri­ots at 180 and on the verge of the first un­beaten sea­son since 1972.

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