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Bellichick admits to taping sidelines since 2000


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http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/foot...f=si_topstories

 

Goodell: Pats have taped since 2000

Belichick told NFL commish he thought it was OK to do

Posted: Wednesday February 13, 2008 6:37PM; Updated: Wednesday February 13, 2008 11:42PM

 

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Bill Belichick has been illegally taping opponents' defensive signals since he became the New England Patriots' coach in 2000, according to Sen. Arlen Specter, who said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told him that during a meeting Wednesday.

 

"There was confirmation that there has been taping since 2000, when Coach Belichick took over," Specter said.

 

Specter said Goodell gave him that information during the 1-hour, 40-minute meeting, which was requested by Specter so the commissioner could explain his reasons for destroying the Spygate tapes and notes.

 

"There were a great many questions answered by Commissioner Goodell," Specter, the senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, told reporters after the meeting. "I found a lot of questions unanswerable because of the tapes and notes had been destroyed."

 

Goodell said Belichick told him he believed the taping was legal; Goodell said he did not concur.

 

"He said that's always been his interpretation since he's been the head coach," the commissioner said. "We are going to agree to disagree on the facts."

 

Specter, from Pennsylvania, wants to talk to other league officials about what exactly was taped and which games may have been compromised.

 

"We have a right to have honest football games," he said.

 

Goodell noted that "we were the ones that disclosed" the Patriots' illegal taping of the New York Jets' defensive signals in Week 1 of last season. Further, Goodell said, they had an admission by Belichick.

 

"I have nothing to hide," Goodell said.

 

Goodell also told Specter that that he doesn't regret destroying the Spygate tapes or the notes.

 

"I think it was the right thing to do," Goodell said.

 

Still, Specter wants to know why penalties were imposed on Belichick before the full extent of the wrongdoing was known and the tapes destroyed in a two-week span. Asked if he thinks there was a coverup, Specter demurred.

 

"There was an enormous amount of haste," Specter said.

 

He scoffed at the reasons Goodell gave for destroying the tapes and notes, particularly about trying to keep them out of competitors' hands and because Belichick had admitted to the taping.

 

"What's that got to do with it? There's an admission of guilt, you preserve the evidence," Specter said. As for keeping the tapes out of the hands of others: "All you have to do is lock up the tapes."

 

Belichick was fined $500,000 and the team was fined $250,000 because of the Spygate incident. The Patriots also forfeited a first-round draft pick.

 

Specter has questioned the quality of the NFL's investigation into the matter and raised the possibility of congressional hearings if he wasn't satisfied with Goodell's answers. Specter also raised the threat of Congress canceling the league's antitrust exemption and reiterated that in the meeting with Goodell.

 

Goodell also said he has not heard from Matt Walsh, the former Patriots employee who performed some videotaping duties for the team.

 

Walsh told The Associated Press last week during the Pro Bowl in Hawaii that he couldn't talk about allegations that he taped a walkthrough practice by the St. Louis Rams before the 2002 Super Bowl. New England, a two-touchdown underdog, won that game 20-17.

 

Goodell said he has offered Walsh a deal whereby "he has to tell the truth and he has to return anything he took improperly" in return for indemnity. Specter said he, too, wanted to talk to Walsh and perhaps offer a different deal.

 

Goodell also said he reserves the right to reopen the investigation if more information is uncovered.

 

Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 

Belichick is a fucking retard. "I thought it was ok." :doh:

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Yeah, the whole thing is shady if you ask me. It's almost like they planned it and now it's blowing up in their face.

Yeah typical give a hard slap on the wrist and then pat the backside; unfortunately for them they did not expect the other teams, fans, officials and finally the politicians would jump in to break up the party. Total bullshit about the destruction of the tapes. You only do that if you want to hide something and/or to prevent future disclosures from a real investigation.

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