NFL commissioner Roger Goodell confirmed an investigation is underway after reports surfaced that the New England Patriots may have filmed an opposing team to possibly cheat.
“Obviously it’s under review,” Goodell told reporters in Dallas on Wednesday. “We’re gonna be thorough and we’re gonna get all the facts and we’ll go from there.”
Goodell was asked about the 2007-2008 Patriots “Spygate” scandal, where the team and coach Bill Belichick were fined hundreds of thousands of dollars for filming an opponent.
Goodell seemed to suggest that the Patriots’ history will factor into their investigation.
“Of course that’s a factor. The key things are the new information that we have. That [old] information we obviously already have. But, I think the issue is what information do we have from this incident?” he said, WEEI reported.
The commissioner said he doesn’t have any idea if punishment would be meted out to the team.
“I don’t have an anticipation,” he told WEEI. “We’re going to be thorough and we’re going to get all the facts and we’re going to go from there.”
Patriots Deny Spying
After reports of the incident broke, the Patriots denied allegations of spying after reports emerged that a member of a Patriots-linked film crew was filming the sideline of the Cincinnati Bengals, a team they’ll face on Sunday.
In a statement, the team acknowledged that their production crew inappropriately filmed the field and sideline as the Bengals played the Cleveland Browns. The Patriots played the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
The film crew was credentialed by Cleveland to shoot footage for a Patriots web series, “Do Your Job,” but the Patriots didn’t tell Cincinnati or the NFL about it.
“While we sought and were granted credentialed access from the Cleveland Browns for the video crew, our failure to inform the Bengals and the League was an unintended oversight,” the team said. “In addition to filming the scout, the production crew—without specific knowledge of League rules—inappropriately filmed the field from the press box.”
“The sole purpose of the filming was to provide an illustration of an advance scout at work on the road,” the Patriots statement said. “There was no intention of using footage for any other purpose.”
“We accept full responsibility for the actions of our production crew at the Browns-Bengals game,” the statement said.
The situation gained national attention on Monday after Cincinnati coach Zac Taylor was asked about the incident. He said the NFL was investigating the situation, ESPN reported.
Belichick told WEEI on Monday that the team’s football operations don’t have anything to do with the “Do Your Job” team, adding that his advanced scouts know about the filming rules.
“They 100 percent know. All of our scouts, all of our video people and everything, they know what that is,” Belichick said, via ESPN. “Again, I have nothing to do with the TV production shows and stuff like that. I have no idea what they do. Or what their projects are and everything else.”
He added: “As I understand it, they were videotaping him, trying to show kind of what an advance scout does or something Iike that, I don’t know. You’ll have to wait to see the show, I guess, and see how it’s presented.”