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Apr 26, 2016 6:47 PM

UNH Law professor weighs in on what's next after Tom Brady in Deflategate ruling


CONCORD - Deflategate meant accusations that Tom Brady was directly involved with using underinflated footballs in game. The appeals process has been drawn out in the courts for over a year. The latest ruling was in the NFL's favor, reinstating Brady's four-game suspension. Leaving the Patriots' quarterback with few options

"I would analogize it probably to being down 16 points with a minute to go in the game," said UNH's Sports Law professor, Michael Dube.

Judges voted 2-1 in favor of the suspension assigned by NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell. The court documents from Monday's ruling read "[the Commissioner] properly exercised his broad discretion under the collective bargaining agreement and that his procedural rulings were properly grounded in that agreement and did not deprive Brady of fundamental fairness."

The NFL responded with a statement that read in part, "we know Commissioner Goodell did not serve as a fair arbitrator and that players' rights were violated under our collective bargaining agreement."

So why was Brady cleared by Judge Berman last year but now that's been reversed?

"If you listen to sports radio, you hear two people debating two sides of an issue and very reasonable people could look at the same facts very, very differently," explained Dube.

Tom Brady's next options are to have the U.S. Supreme Court intervene or try his luck with the entire Second Circuit Court

"It's pretty unlikely that they would do so. The second circuit rehears less cases than any federal appeals court in the entire country."

According to sports law experts, it is far more probable than not that Brady will not get the four-game suspension reversed. What's not clear is if the NFL will follow through with the punishment as they have yet to publicly comment on the ruling.

"The facts are still a little bit of a mystery and I think another is that people are a little bit offended that someone could serve as the judge and the jury."

Patriots fans have been very vocal about this ongoing saga. A group of fans has even tried suing the NFL over the first-round 2016 draft pick lost as a result of Deflategate. The case has been dismissed because according to Dube, fans are only paying for the experience of a ticket. That means even if fans try to make an argument that they paid to see a certain person, that perspective would not hold up in court.


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