Deflategate Appeal Postponed Until Offseason
Monday, December, 14, 2015
There is officially no chance the “Deflategate” scandal that rocked the New England Patriots and the NFL will affect the team this season. The appeal by the NFL concerning Brady’s cancelled game suspension will not be heard by the 2nd Circuit US Court of Appeals until March 30, 2016. Oral arguments will begin that date, more than nearly three months after the NLF’s regular season has concluded. At this point, there is no way Brady will face any sort of suspension in the 2015 season.
The NFL Players Association and the league were asked in September that oral arguments begin in January.
The upcoming hearing will take place more than a year after the initial accusations. In the 2014 AFC Championship Game, Patriots opponent the Indianapolis Colts accused quarterback Tom Brady of deflating footballs to make them easier to grip, potentially improving performance.
An investigation followed and was led by Ted Wells, someone the league claimed was independent. The investigation revealed two Patriots employees had indeed deflated the balls and that Brady was aware this had occurred.
The investigation was followed by a 10 hour arbitration hearing in June, where NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell upheld the four-game suspension levied on Brady. The players union and Brady responded by taking the NFL to court, where a judge overruled the suspension based on the grounds that Brady had not been given notice of his misconduct and the discipline that could occur because of it. The judge also ruled the arbitration hearing lacked fundamental fairness. Following the judge’s decision, the NFL appealed.