NEW YORK — A report finds it probable that the New England Patriots deliberately deflated footballs and suggests quarterback Tom Brady was “generally aware” of it.
Here’s an excerpt from the executive summary of the report prepared by Ted Wells, who was tasked with investigating allegations that the Patriots used deflated footballs during the AFC Championship against the Indianapolis Colts:
For the reasons described in this Report, and after a comprehensive investigation, we have concluded that, in connection with the AFC Championship Game, it is more probable than not that New England Patriots personnel participated in violations of the Playing Rules and were involved in a deliberate effort to circumvent the rules. In particular, 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. 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.
The report said there’s no reason to suggest wrongdoing on the part of Patriots coach Bill Belichick, head equipment manager Dave Schoenfeld or Patriots ownership.