Report: NFL weighing Patriots' punishment for spying
September 11, 2007
NEW YORK (AP) -- The NFL reportedly is considering punishing the New England Patriots
for spying on the New York Jets
in their season opener.
ESPN.com, citing league sources, reported Tuesday that commissioner Roger Goodell has determined the Patriots violated league rules Sunday when they videotaped defensive signals by the Jets' coaches. But the report also said the Patriots have not yet presented their case to the league.
The Web site's report said Goodell is considering severe sanctions, including docking the Patriots "multiple draft picks."
A league spokesman, however, said only that an investigation is under way. Both teams said no decision has been made.
NFL security confiscated a video camera and tape from a Patriots employee during New England's 38-14 victory Sunday. The employee was accused of aiming his camera at the Jets' defensive coaches as they signaled to players on the field.
Last season, the Green Bay Packers
had an issue with a man wearing a Patriots staff credential who was carrying a video camera on their sideline.
"The rule is that no video recording devices of any kind are permitted to be in use in the coaches' booth, on the field, or in the locker room during the game," the league said Monday in a statement from spokesman Greg Aiello. "Clubs have specifically been reminded in the past that the videotaping of an opponent's offensive or defensive signals on the sidelines is prohibited.
"We are looking into whether the Patriots violated this rule."
There also are questions regarding the Patriots' use of radio frequencies during the game.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft was asked when he expected a verdict, but said those questions had to be directed toward Goodell.
"There is an investigation going on now, and perhaps an adjudication of it, and I think it would be inappropriate at this time to make any comment," Kraft told reporters at a charity appearance Tuesday. "When you're successful in anything, a lot of people like to try to take you down and do different things. We understand that.
"We worked very hard to try to put an organization together that we all could be proud of in New England, and we're very proud of the New England Patriots organization and the record that they've established over the last 13 seasons and one game."
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