(NEW YORK) — The NFL is considering what to do about one of its biggest stars, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, following the release of a report about the “Deflategate” scandal.
League officials told ABC News that the NFL hasn’t determined a timetable for a decision for any punishments against Brady, but many speculate an announcement could come as early as this week.
Brady was hit hard in the 243-page report released last week, which focuses on the handling of footballs before the AFC Championship, which the Patriots won 45-7. Eleven Patriots game balls tested following the game measured below the minimum pressure level of 12.5 pounds per square inch, or psi, a violation of the league’s rules.
“It is more probable than not that Brady was at least generally aware of the inappropriate activities of [Jim] McNally and [John] Jastremski involving the release of air from Patriots game balls,” the report states.
The report — overseen by attorney Ted Wells — found no evidence of any wrongdoing from Patriots ownership or coaches.
The scandal has transcended sports, drawing the ire of pundits and talk show hosts.
Some NFL fans wonder whether NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s relationship with Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and the popularity of Brady, will affect the league’s decision.
Brady was coy in a Thursday speech at Salem State University, saying he hopes to respond as soon as he has time to fully process the report and investigation.
“My athletic career is better than my academic career,” Brady joked, noting, “[I] usually only read X’s and O’s. … This was a bit longer.”
Asked how he was handling the controversy, the four-time Super Bowl champion said he has “dealt with a lot of adversity in his career and life” and that he was grateful for the support of his family, friends and fans.
Brady’s agent, Don Yee, issued a statement earlier Thursday, slamming the findings as “a significant and terrible disappointment.”
“Its omission of key facts and lines of inquiry suggest the investigators reached a conclusion first, and then determined so-called facts later,” Yee said in the statement.
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