NFL upholds Tom Brady's four-game suspension

July 28, 2015

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell today upheld the four-game suspension imposed on New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on May 11 for his role in deflating game balls during the team's playoff game against the Colts. Brady’s appeal ‎from that discipline was heard for more than ten hours on June 23.

In the opinion informing Brady that his appeal had been denied, Commissioner Goodell emphasized important new information disclosed by Brady and his representatives in connection with the hearing.

According to the NFL's statement issued today:
"On or shortly before March 6, the day that Tom Brady met with independent investigator Ted Wells and his colleagues, Brady directed that the cell phone he had used for the prior four months be destroyed. He did so even though he was aware that the investigators had requested access to text messages and other electronic information that had been stored on that phone. ‎During the four months that the cell phone was in use, Brady had exchanged nearly 10,000 text messages, none of which can now be retrieved from that device. The destruction of the cell phone was not disclosed until June 18, almost four months after the investigators had first sought electronic information from Brady. 
Based on the Wells Report and the evidence presented at the hearing, Commissioner Goodell concluded in his decision that Brady was aware of, and took steps to support‎, the actions of other team employees to deflate game footballs below the levels called for by the NFL's Official Playing Rules. The commissioner found that Brady’s deliberate destruction of potentially relevant evidence went beyond a mere failure to cooperate in the investigation and supported a finding that he had sought to hide evidence of his own participation in the underlying scheme to alter the footballs." 

Meanwhile, Brady has contended that he is being punished for not cooperating and for failing to turn over his cellphone records to the league, rather than for actually breaking NFL rules.

With Brady's suspension now upheld, untested second-year backup quarterback Jimmy Garappolo will be expected to start in his place during the team's first four games.

By Staff of and news services

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