One of the locker room attendants for the New England Patriots has become the focus of the National Football League (NFL). Reportedly, the attendant moved a number of AFC Championship Game balls from the locker room to a different area prior to taking them to the playing field. In a statement from Fox Sports, the attendant has been interviewed and apparently there is video of the incident.
At this time, the NFL is trying to determine if anything the lock room attendant was wrong. According to officials, within a 90-second period, the attendant is spotted on surveillance going into and exiting the bathroom carrying a total of 24 footballs that were provided by both teams. The bathroom is an extremely small room with a lock on the outside door.
Ted Wells, an investigator the NFL hired, said that it will take a few weeks for the investigation to be finished. He added that customary procedures are being followed and that at no time should anyone make assumptions since it is important for the investigation to be fair.
Tom Brady, quarterback with the Patriots, said in a news conference that 24 footballs were chosen for inspection by referees prior to the AFC Championship Game on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts and that in no way were any of the balls altered.
However, of 12 games balls associated with the Patriots’ 45-7 win, 11 were found to be underinflated by a significant margin from requirements set by the NFL. A statement was released by the NFL last Friday about the investigation saying that close to 40 interviews were conducted so far.
According to Matthew Slater, wide receiver for the Patriots, no on associated with the organization is allowed to talk about the investigation. Bill Belichick, Patriots’ coach, chimed in that air pressure in the footballs might have been affected because of weather conditions, He also said that he fully supported his team.
While the issue of the deflated balls was reported last week, this new twist has some people baffled. Surveillance video showed the attendant taking the balls into a different room at Gillette Stadium before bringing them to the field to be used in the game.