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Brady suspended four games, Pats fined and docked two draft picks (Mega Merge)


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Wow

Wow...is right. Look up the Racketeering Influence and Corruption organziation act of 1970.... it is possible.

There's one line that stands out to me I this law.

"Sports bridery is defined as any action involving in an exchange of goods, monies, property or sevices in exchange for the conduction of act that alters and prevents a fair outcome of a sporting event, professional or amateur; including the exchange of goods, monies, property or services in an attempt hide or conceal an act of altering or preventing a fair outcome of a sporting event......"

This law is huge though, several hundred pages and I'm just skimming it so it may be better defined further in...

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Not about after the appeal, yet, but most all reports says Brady won't get leniency unless something new is presented (admission of guilt, withheld electronic data/documents, etc...)

 

Nobody really wants to think about a filing in Federal court at this juncture, I feel.  But I'm sure many are already toying with ideas about it..

 

Kessler and the NFLPA are probably giddy at the prospect of taking this to federal court. The federal courts have shown little respect for the NFL's authority to administer discipline. I think if it gets to that point, the punishments will all be stayed pending a final ruling, and eventually thrown out entirely. 

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Kessler and the NFLPA are probably giddy at the prospect of taking this to federal court. The federal courts have shown little respect for the NFL's authority to administer discipline. I think if it gets to that point, the punishments will all be stayed pending a final ruling, and eventually thrown out entirely.

Regardless, the Patriots still lose the draft picks right?

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Regardless, the Patriots still lose the draft picks right?

 

Not if they sue the league, like people are saying they will. The courts could postpone any punishments until rulings are given, and then throw out the penalties altogether. I could easily see that happening, and the Patriots and Brady getting away with zero penalty, all because some judge doesn't like something about the situation.

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Kessler and the NFLPA are probably giddy at the prospect of taking this to federal court. The federal courts have shown little respect for the NFL's authority to administer discipline. I think if it gets to that point, the punishments will all be stayed pending a final ruling, and eventually thrown out entirely. 

that's true, but if it does go to trial, then whatever the Pats and Brady have been hiding will have to come to light.

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Kessler and the NFLPA are probably giddy at the prospect of taking this to federal court. The federal courts have shown little respect for the NFL's authority to administer discipline. I think if it gets to that point, the punishments will all be stayed pending a final ruling, and eventually thrown out entirely. 

 

Correct me if I'm wrong.  Did not those other cases already have all evidence brought forth in discovery in some type of (non NFL) criminal trial before the NFL administered its punishment?  That is not the case here.  And if there is evidence the defense is hiding that incriminated the client the prosecution has right to that evidence via Discovery.  Thus my Q to OffPC and Bav about the scope of such potential Discovery.  To me, the evidence the withheld that made Wells say 'proven' via the More likely than not' could potentially be the same that in a trial would clinch the 'Beyond reasonable doubt' line.  Then you are talking about more that 4 game suspension depending upon what actually transpired.  But I would want a more informed opinion than mine in that regard, but I don't want to put anybody on the spot weighing in, necessarily.  Unless they want to voluntarily.

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Well i don't want to come off sounding harsh here.  But yes, flawed as it was shown to be, there are official NFL rules and protocols pre-game for measuring and handling the game and Kicking footballs.

 

I'll explain.  The week prior to a game, the QB's / Team get to practice with the game balls.  The ball boys and equipment manager prep up to 24 of the balls given the OK by the QB.  This varies from QB to QB, but they all do it, and the QB is very picky about it.  Here's just 2 articles on it worth a read-

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/24/sports/football/eli-mannings-footballs-are-months-in-making.html?_r=0

http://mmqb.si.com/2015/01/22/deflategate-video-how-nfl-officials-check-game-ball-pressure/

 

Now, 2 hours and fifteen minutes before kickoff on the day of the game, 12 game balls and 12 backup balls from the home team (which would be the Pats in the AFCCG) are submitted to the Refs locker room.  Also 12 game balls from the Visitors (Colts) are brought to the Refs locker room.  Since it is an outdoor stadium, the Visitors can also bring an additional 12 backup game balls to the Ref's locker room.  I believe both teams did that. {Indoor stadium, visitors can only bring 12 game balls, no backups}.

 

Now the official rule states the air pressure must be 13 PSI.  Also in the rules, there is an allowance of up to and including a 1/2 pound (0.5 PSI) variance above and below 13 PSI.  Thus we get the 12.5 to 13.5 PSI range.  Teams can submit their balls anywhere in that range.  If the Ref's measure in that range as well, they mark it and put it in the ball bag.  I f it come in over 13.5 (Hello Mr. Rodgers!  :highfive2: )  PSI, the Refs stick in the Gauge and bleed it down to 13.5, mark it and throw it in the game ball bag.  If a ball comes in below 12.5 PSI (Hello Mr. Brady! :highfive2: ),  Then the Ref sticks in the needle with the pump and inflates.  Then gauges it again and bleeds it to 12.5-13 PSI.  Marks it and throw it in the bag.

 

So you see, there were 48 balls to do this to that night.  But in the secure locker room of the ref is where they stay until 10 minutes before kickoff.  At that point, a Home Team designated ball handler comes to the locker room and grabs the Home and Visitors ball bags and is escorted to the field by the Ref and officials.  At which point they are delivered to the home and visiting teams sidelines.  The backup balls remain securely locked in the Refs locker room.  The 'Fail' here was, the Pats ball handler went in to the Refs locker room early, and took the game balls without permission or supervision.  That is why Walt Anderson Panicked when he  noticed them gone. He even went to the field and direct an NFL security official to fetch the backup balls.  Then Anderson spotted McNally and the bags of (now altered) game balls.  He cancels the backups and puts the altered Pats balls into play.  So the protocol was breached by thievery. Something the protocol never planned for.  That will be addressed, for sure next year.

 

The kicking balls are 12 special balls picked and packaged at Wilson factory itself.  They are boxed up and sent to the Hotel of the head ref the night before the game.   The Ref brings those balls to his locker room at the stadium as well.  45 minutes before kickoff, the teams have a rep (break in' specialist) work those K balls.  The only have 30 minutes.  The Ref makes sure they are between 12.5 and 13.5 after each prep, marked with a K, and put in the K ball bag. Those come out with the Refs 10 minute prior to kickoff as well.

 

So you see, there is a fairly rigid protocol in placed, and mentioned in the rulebook and operations manual of the NFL.  In an earlier post, I lay out how/why the breach was successful at the AFCCG.  Now I expect the NFL rule book and operations manual to grow even more for future seasons.

 

It seems to this point that very little attention was paid to it was my thought. Not that rules weren't in place. i haven't read the report but have heard even the Colts balls measured under 12.5 in the AFCCC game?

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that's true, but if it does go to trial, then whatever the Pats and Brady have been hiding will have to come to light.

 

Absolutely, but that doesn't mean a judge is going to suddenly take up the NFL's side. Doty relishes in ruling against the NFL in favor of the NFLPA, and Kessler is one of his favorites. I could easily see discovery uncovering incriminating messages from Brady, but Doty ruling that the NFL didn't have those messages to based their decision on, so the suspension is invalid. 

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It still doesn't excuse wrong doing. It might be a reason, but it's no excuse.

If it wasn't wrong, there would have been no reason to hide what was being done. My 6 yr old grandaughter even understands that.

 

 

I think there's plenty of wrong to go around.

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Correct me if I'm wrong.  Did not those other cases already have all evidence brought forth in discovery in some type of (non NFL) criminal trial before the NFL administered its punishment?  That is not the case here.  And if there is evidence the defense is hiding that incriminated the client the prosecution has right to that evidence via Discovery.  Thus my Q to OffPC and Bav about the scope of such potential Discovery.  To me, the evidence the withheld that made Wells say 'proven' via the More likely than not' could potentially be the same that in a trial would clinch the 'Beyond reasonable doubt' line.  Then you are talking about more that 4 game suspension depending upon what actually transpired.  But I would want a more informed opinion than mine in that regard, but I don't want to put anybody on the spot weighing in, necessarily.  Unless they want to voluntarily.

 

The NFL doesn't have subpoena power. And the courts -- especially Doty -- don't respect the NFL's authority when it comes to player discipline (or in general, really). So I could see Doty saying Brady isn't compelled to turn anything over to the NFL, and without whatever might be uncovered in discovery, the NFL had no basis to suspend him. I obviously don't agree with that, but it wouldn't surprise me.

 

Judge Barbara Jones overruled the Ray Rice indefinite suspension because she didn't agree that the NFL had the right to further discipline Rice in the light of new evidence (the video). She applied a criminal "double jeopardy" defense to a business' right to discipline its employees. In other words, she did the exact opposite of what I'm saying Doty could do, in that she applied a higher criminal standard to the NFL. Yet, Doty could easily say the NFL doesn't have the right to demand information from players. They can place the NFL in a sweet spot where they don't get recognition as an authority, yet are held to a government standard when it comes to discipline.

 

No question the NFL hasn't always handled discipline properly. Yet, they ought to be able to handle disciplinary matters without the courts overruling everything they do. The NFLPA collectively bargained with the NFL, and agreed to have the commissioner handle discipline with virtual autonomy. I don't think Goodell has abused his power in this regard, despite public outcry to the contrary. To me, a lot of this legal wrangling is baseless. I'm no attorney, but it seems like the fact that the CBA gives this authority to the commissioner should be it. The rest of this stuff is auxiliary, IMO.

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It seems to this point that very little attention was paid to it was my thought. Not that rules weren't in place. i haven't read the report but have heard even the Colts balls measured under 12.5 in the AFCCC game?

 

11 Pats balls were measured and 4 Colts balls at halftime. Each done twice (two officials, and two gauges)

 

All 11 were under both times.  Only 1 of the 22 measurements were above 12 PSI, but still short of minimum.

PatsBalls1_zpss6us748o.jpg

 

Of the eight measurements of Colts balls, 5 of 8 still legal.  3 of eight under inflated, but between 12 - 12.5 PSI, so very close.

ColtsBalls1_zpsapam0nxm.jpg

 

The 12.15, 12.30, and 12.35 are the ones under 12.5.

 

So what I hear on NFL Sirius XM radio?  3 out of 4 Colts balls were deflated too!  That has been the tactic of many a Pats fan.  But reading the Whole Report, one has a better understanding.  Picking and choosing pieces falls apart quickly.  In the report it states no Colts balls were inflated at halftime because all 4 passed on at least one of the gauges.  While talking head mention our balls were illegal too.  There's a lot of disinformation regarding this report and its findings. TrVth.

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I'm disappointed Brady isn't accepting the suspension, considering he didn't choose to defend himself. Instead, he's not only striking out against the suspension, but he's letting others speak up for him while Brady just smiles.

The whole thing makes me sick. Tom Brady is really ruining the game of football, imo. You've got young kids who look up to these QB's, yet Brady is just turning this whole thing into a circus. If Tom Brady didn't want this for himself, he could have fully complied with the investigation and be a man and speak up.

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The NFL doesn't have subpoena power. And the courts -- especially Doty -- don't respect the NFL's authority when it comes to player discipline (or in general, really). So I could see Doty saying Brady isn't compelled to turn anything over to the NFL, and without whatever might be uncovered in discovery, the NFL had no basis to suspend him. I obviously don't agree with that, but it wouldn't surprise me.

 

Judge Barbara Jones overruled the Ray Rice indefinite suspension because she didn't agree that the NFL had the right to further discipline Rice in the light of new evidence (the video). She applied a criminal "double jeopardy" defense to a business' right to discipline its employees. In other words, she did the exact opposite of what I'm saying Doty could do, in that she applied a higher criminal standard to the NFL. Yet, Doty could easily say the NFL doesn't have the right to demand information from players. They can place the NFL in a sweet spot where they don't get recognition as an authority, yet are held to a government standard when it comes to discipline.

 

No question the NFL hasn't always handled discipline properly. Yet, they ought to be able to handle disciplinary matters without the courts overruling everything they do. The NFLPA collectively bargained with the NFL, and agreed to have the commissioner handle discipline with virtual autonomy. I don't think Goodell has abused his power in this regard, despite public outcry to the contrary. To me, a lot of this legal wrangling is baseless. I'm no attorney, but it seems like the fact that the CBA gives this authority to the commissioner should be it. The rest of this stuff is auxiliary, IMO.

I question the courts authority to overturn a verdict based upon preponderance of the evidence, even not having (nor needing) a smoking gun.  It will get ugly.  Especially when they put McNally on the stand and hammer the Deflator about all of his messages...  There will sordid ugly thing come about and it will appear each side went scorched earth, and nobody benefited.

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Not if they sue the league, like people are saying they will. The courts could postpone any punishments until rulings are given, and then throw out the penalties altogether. I could easily see that happening, and the Patriots and Brady getting away with zero penalty, all because some judge doesn't like something about the situation.

 

This is what I think will happen. Kraft has plenty of money and won't mind spending it. In the end, I think NE/Brady will get away with everything. Except in the court of public opinion. IMO, this will hang with them much longer and stronger than Spygate.

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This is what I think will happen. Kraft has plenty of money and won't mind spending it. In the end, I think NE/Brady will get away with everything. Except in the court of public opinion. IMO, this will hang with them much longer and stronger than Spygate.

They could become the Raiders of the 70's/80's
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This is what I think will happen. Kraft has plenty of money and won't mind spending it. In the end, I think NE/Brady will get away with everything. Except in the court of public opinion. IMO, this will hang with them much longer and stronger than Spygate.

 

Yeah, the referendum has been handed down already. Tom Brady cheated, lied and didn't fully cooperate with the investigation. The Patriots employed two cheaters, and took action themselves to punish those employees on the basis of the Wells report (despite saying the report's primary finding -- that the balls were tampered with -- was inaccurate). We all know the truth, no matter what happens going forward.

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I too have 3 attorneys in the family, and am somewhat familiar in how the court system works.

All the legal jargon aside....

no matter how long this gets dragged out, to what level and technicalities they want to use, I can't for the life of me understand how anyone could possibly for a second think Brady is innocent in any of this.

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I too have 3 attorneys in the family, and am somewhat familiar in how the court system works.

All the legal jargon aside....

no matter how long this gets dragged out, to what level and technicalities they want to use, I can't for the life of me understand how anyone could possibly for a second think Brady is innocent in any of this.

to pretty much anyone outside of the Boston bubble, he's not.

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11 Pats balls were measured and 4 Colts balls at halftime. Each done twice (two officials, and two gauges)

 

All 11 were under both times.  Only 1 of the 22 measurements were above 12 PSI, but still short of minimum.

PatsBalls1_zpss6us748o.jpg

 

Of the eight measurements of Colts balls, 5 of 8 still legal.  3 of eight under inflated, but between 12 - 12.5 PSI, so very close.

ColtsBalls1_zpsapam0nxm.jpg

 

The 12.15, 12.30, and 12.35 are the ones under 12.5.

 

So what I hear on NFL Sirius XM radio?  3 out of 4 Colts balls were deflated too!  That has been the tactic of many a Pats fan.  But reading the Whole Report, one has a better understanding.  Picking and choosing pieces falls apart quickly.  In the report it states no Colts balls were inflated at halftime because all 4 passed on at least one of the gauges.  While talking head mention our balls were illegal too.  There's a lot of disinformation regarding this report and its findings. TrVth.

 

I'm just not into kicking a person or the Pats when they're down. Your post raises even more questions for me. I'm giving up on trying to even understand this. I'm going back to basics and just going to trust what my eyes tell me when I'm watching the game. I just see this getting uglier from all angles over time. Crazy...over some air. 

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I'm just not into kicking a person or the Pats when they're down. Your post raises even more questions for me. I'm giving up on trying to even understand this. I'm going back to basics and just going to trust what my eyes tell me when I'm watching the game. I just see this getting uglier from all angles over time. Crazy...over some air.

At this point the deflation issue is trivial to the whole coverup issue
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I question the courts authority to overturn a verdict based upon preponderance of the evidence, even not having (nor needing) a smoking gun.  It will get ugly.  Especially when they put McNally on the stand and hammer the Deflator about all of his messages...  There will sordid ugly thing come about and it will appear each side went scorched earth, and nobody benefited.

 

Anyone can question the courts' authority, up to the Supreme Court. That doesn't mean they won't do something that most people think is wrong. 

 

There was a smoking gun and even an admission in Peterson's case. There's video in Ray Rice's case (and a preponderance of evidence that no one with the NFL knew how serious the video was, regardless of whether they should have acted more strongly based on what they did know). Two separate courts/judges undermined the NFL's authority to act. 

 

And there are other examples, obviously. There's a preponderance of evidence in the Bountygate situation, but Doty overturned those suspensions, before the NFL revised the suspensions and reissued them. Then the NFLPA and the NFL agreed to an independent appeal, contingent upon Tagliabue handling the appeal. Tagliabue said 'yeah, they did this, but I don't like the way the Saints obstructed, and I don't like the way the suspensions were levied, so let's get rid of them all.' 

 

For whatever reason, when these issues go to court, it becomes about the NFL's authority to act, and the manner in which they act, much more than it's about whether the wrongdoing actually occurred or whether the wrongdoing is deserving of punishment. I don't get it.

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This is what I think will happen. Kraft has plenty of money and won't mind spending it. In the end, I think NE/Brady will get away with everything. Except in the court of public opinion. IMO, this will hang with them much longer and stronger than Spygate.

 

And we can blame our Federal Government for ruining the best game is sports too.  

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I too have 3 attorneys in the family, and am somewhat familiar in how the court system works.

All the legal jargon aside....

no matter how long this gets dragged out, to what level and technicalities they want to use, I can't for the life of me understand how anyone could possibly for a second think Brady is innocent in any of this.

 

Yeah, it's ridiculous. However, there's no "smoking gun" per se. Like I've posted previously, murders have gotten away with their crimes because of a lack of the "smoking gun". The jury could not convict beyond a reasonable doubt. They might be 99% sure, but that 1% cuts them loose.

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The NFL doesn't have subpoena power. And the courts -- especially Doty -- don't respect the NFL's authority when it comes to player discipline (or in general, really). So I could see Doty saying Brady isn't compelled to turn anything over to the NFL, and without whatever might be uncovered in discovery, the NFL had no basis to suspend him. I obviously don't agree with that, but it wouldn't surprise me.

 

Judge Barbara Jones overruled the Ray Rice indefinite suspension because she didn't agree that the NFL had the right to further discipline Rice in the light of new evidence (the video). She applied a criminal "double jeopardy" defense to a business' right to discipline its employees. In other words, she did the exact opposite of what I'm saying Doty could do, in that she applied a higher criminal standard to the NFL. Yet, Doty could easily say the NFL doesn't have the right to demand information from players. They can place the NFL in a sweet spot where they don't get recognition as an authority, yet are held to a government standard when it comes to discipline.

 

No question the NFL hasn't always handled discipline properly. Yet, they ought to be able to handle disciplinary matters without the courts overruling everything they do. The NFLPA collectively bargained with the NFL, and agreed to have the commissioner handle discipline with virtual autonomy. I don't think Goodell has abused his power in this regard, despite public outcry to the contrary. To me, a lot of this legal wrangling is baseless. I'm no attorney, but it seems like the fact that the CBA gives this authority to the commissioner should be it. The rest of this stuff is auxiliary, IMO.

When it comes to procedural errors, that's when the courts cna rightly come in and say the NFL did something wrong.  It isn't so much about an abuse of power, in that, the NFL idn't have any authority to discipline, it's just that they didn't have the authority to discipline in teh way they did.  Whether that's looking at evidence and changing a suspension after new evidence comes to light, and in Peterson's case where they applied new disciplinary guidelines to infractions occurring before said guidelines were in place.  In both of these cases, the NFL exceeded their procedural authority, so to speak.  The one that baffled me, and it was really the NFL overruling itself (not the US courts necessarily), was the Spygate.  Basically, Tagliabue said, there's evidence that BountyGate occured, which is enough to discipline the Saints at the institutional level, hence the fine, draft pick, and suspensions of the HC and DC, but there's not enough specific evidence as to any one player engaging in any particular bounty to warrant the punishments - weird suspending the coaches for a pay for play scheme and acknowledging it cant figure out if anyone was paid for play.

 

If Doty were to overrule these, I actually would expect an appeal to the federal level on it, to be honest.  The evidence is strong enough in the NFL's favor, I'd question the arbitrator's ruling to the contrary.  It made sense in Rice and Peterson's cases, and perhaps once the issues started coming into scope, one could see it coming.  But not in this one (at least that I can foresee at this point).  The Patriots issues seems to be more about the burden of proof and whether the evidence meets that proof.  I suppose the only procedural issue I can see is whether Vincent exceeded his authority for suspending the Patriots for not "fully cooperating" when the report says tehy "substantially cooperated."  Of course, the very next sentence after Wells says they substantially cooperated, it gives a lists of reasons why they didn't fully cooperate.  I can't really see that being appealed, but if it were and taken up to federal court, I don't see how the Patriots have a leg to stand on, especially given what would be Wells testimony about how he only had one interview with McNally, learned new information, and the Patriots refused him a second interview.  Same goes for Brady's refusal to screen texts.  There can't be any good reason - or at least it can't be considered cooperative - to be able to control the flow of information and get the promise from the investigator that he will take your word for it and not turn over at least some texts.   

 

If the Patriots appealed the verdict challenging the evidence didn't meet the standard of proof, they could do that I suppose, but there is more than enough evidence for tampering to at least hold the Pats liable as an organization.  I'd go so far as to say that if this were a criminal charge, McNally, Jastremski, and the Patritos would be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  Brady, maybe not by that standard, but certainly a more probable than not standard which is the only standard that matters here.  

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I'm just not into kicking a person or the Pats when they're down. Your post raises even more questions for me. I'm giving up on trying to even understand this. I'm going back to basics and just going to trust what my eyes tell me when I'm watching the game. I just see this getting uglier from all angles over time. Crazy...over some air. 

 

yes, if you don't understand parts and how they fit into the whole, it doesn't appear as well.  Knowing how much the Ideal Gas Law adjusts these readings and how it doesn't, etc...  But Wells was within his realm of reasoning, IMO.

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Yeah, it's ridiculous. However, there's no "smoking gun" per se. Like I've posted previously, murders have gotten away with their crimes because of a lack of the "smoking gun". The jury could not convict beyond a reasonable doubt. They might be 99% sure, but that 1% cuts them loose.

If/when this case goes to court the Ultimate Decision will be made by a Judge or Judges
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Correct me if I'm wrong.  Did not those other cases already have all evidence brought forth in discovery in some type of (non NFL) criminal trial before the NFL administered its punishment?  That is not the case here.  And if there is evidence the defense is hiding that incriminated the client the prosecution has right to that evidence via Discovery.  Thus my Q to OffPC and Bav about the scope of such potential Discovery.  To me, the evidence the withheld that made Wells say 'proven' via the More likely than not' could potentially be the same that in a trial would clinch the 'Beyond reasonable doubt' line.  Then you are talking about more that 4 game suspension depending upon what actually transpired.  But I would want a more informed opinion than mine in that regard, but I don't want to put anybody on the spot weighing in, necessarily.  Unless they want to voluntarily.

Meant to quote you in my post above to Superman.  His post just opened up a few points that I was already going to touch on in responding to this post.

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If/when this case goes to court the Ultimate Decision will be made by a Judge or Judges

 

Does anyone know, if/when this goes to court, what is the standard of proof (for a lack of a better description) for that court? i.e. in a criminal court, someone can get away if there's the slightest of doubt. Civil court is different.

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Does anyone know, if/when this goes to court, what is the standard of proof (for a lack of a better description) for that court? i.e. in a criminal court, someone can get away if there's the slightest of doubt. Civil court is different.

Civil Court has a much lower threshold
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When it comes to procedural errors, that's when the courts cna rightly come in and say the NFL did something wrong.  It isn't so much about an abuse of power, in that, the NFL idn't have any authority to discipline, it's just that they didn't have the authority to discipline in teh way they did.  Whether that's looking at evidence and changing a suspension after new evidence comes to light, and in Peterson's case where they applied new disciplinary guidelines to infractions occurring before said guidelines were in place.  In both of these cases, the NFL exceeded their procedural authority, so to speak.  The one that baffled me, and it was really the NFL overruling itself (not the US courts necessarily), was the Spygate.  Basically, Tagliabue said, there's evidence that BountyGate occured, which is enough to discipline the Saints at the institutional level, hence the fine, draft pick, and suspensions of the HC and DC, but there's not enough specific evidence as to any one player engaging in any particular bounty to warrant the punishments - weird suspending the coaches for a pay for play scheme and acknowledging it cant figure out if anyone was paid for play.

 

Take Ray Rice. Let's say the DA decides to charge him with simple battery, he pleads guilty, they give him a suspended sentence and probation. Then the DA gets video of the incident, and it's far worse than what they believed. They can charge him with aggravated battery after the fact. Am I wrong about that? That's basically what the NFL did. Regardless, since when does double jeopardy apply to employers and employees?

 

Adrian Peterson. The NFL instituted a new policy for handling domestic violence. But the NFL had no clearly defined policy before that; cases were handled under the more broad "conduct detrimental" policy. There was no set amount of games a player could be suspended, it was at the commissioner's discretion. So how can you argue that the NFL doesn't have the authority to hold Peterson to the same parameters as the new policy, just because the new policy wasn't in place yet? Another example of the courts holding the NFL to a higher, criminal proceeding standard, when this authority was agreed to through collective bargaining. The CBA says that the commissioner doesn't need a specific domestic violence policy; the commissioner can penalize a player for a "conduct detrimental" violation at the commissioner's discretion. The minutiae seems immaterial. Either the NFL has the authority to mete out punishment, or it doesn't. I don't see why the courts get to nitpick the method of punishment in each instance.

 

If Doty were to overrule these, I actually would expect an appeal to the federal level on it, to be honest.  The evidence is strong enough in the NFL's favor, I'd question the arbitrator's ruling to the contrary.  It made sense in Rice and Peterson's cases, and perhaps once the issues started coming into scope, one could see it coming.  But not in this one (at least that I can foresee at this point).  The Patriots issues seems to be more about the burden of proof and whether the evidence meets that proof.  I suppose the only procedural issue I can see is whether Vincent exceeded his authority for suspending the Patriots for not "fully cooperating" when the report says tehy "substantially cooperated."  Of course, the very next sentence after Wells says they substantially cooperated, it gives a lists of reasons why they didn't fully cooperate.  I can't really see that being appealed, but if it were and taken up to federal court, I don't see how the Patriots have a leg to stand on, especially given what would be Wells testimony about how he only had one interview with McNally, learned new information, and the Patriots refused him a second interview.  Same goes for Brady's refusal to screen texts.  There can't be any good reason - or at least it can't be considered cooperative - to be able to control the flow of information and get the promise from the investigator that he will take your word for it and not turn over at least some texts.  

If the Patriots appealed the verdict challenging the evidence didn't meet the standard of proof, they could do that I suppose, but there is more than enough evidence for tampering to at least hold the Pats liable as an organization.  I'd go so far as to say that if this were a criminal charge, McNally, Jastremski, and the Patritos would be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  Brady, maybe not by that standard, but certainly a more probable than not standard which is the only standard that matters here.

 

 

I agree with all of that, in principle. I just think Doty is already preparing himself for the opportunity to overrule the NFL again. Just like you say it was weird (which I read to mean you disagree with it) that Tagliabue would overturn the Bountygate suspensions, I think there's plenty of room for weirdness if/when this reaches Doty, or Ford, or whoever. The 8th Circuit is less predictable.

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