The investigation found the balls were two pounds per square inch below the level set out in the league’s regulations, but there was a firm ‘no comment’ from senior vice president of communications Greg Aiello when the reports were put to him.
The Patriots beat the Indianapolis Colts 45-7 in a lop-sided game on Sunday to reach the Super Bowl – they will face the defending champion Seattle Seahawks in Arizona on February 1.
Troy Vincent,??the league’s senior executive vice president of football operations. said the??”investigation is currently underway and we’re still awaiting findings” and he anticipated a result by the end of the week as ‘Deflate-Gate’ threatens to take away from the excitement of the sport’s most prestigious game.
Vincent said. “The team is in place in New England now interviewing staff members.??We obviously want to get that on the table, get that behind us so that we can really get back to the game itself.”
Vincent added that he is keen to ensure fans “want to know that everything’s equal. The integrity of the game is so important.”
Game balls are inspected and approved by referees more than two hours before kick-off and then returned to a ball attendant – further alteration after that time is not allowed.
The balls are required to be inflated between 12.5 and 13.5 pounds per square inch and weigh between 14 and 15 ounces.
Deflating the ball can change the way it is gripped by a player and Colts linebacker D’Qwell Jackson admitted he thought it felt different after he made an interception in the second quarter.
According to ESPN, the NFL is??”disappointed … angry … distraught” at the findings reported by Chris Mortensen.
Discipline, if required, is yet to be considered, but the NFL rule-book states:??”If any individual alters the footballs, or if a non-approved ball is used in the game, the person responsible and, if appropriate, the head coach or other club personnel will be subject to discipline, including but not limited to, a fine of $25,000.”