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NFL determined Patriots have violated rules


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NEW YORK -- After looking into claims a New England Patriots employee was videotaping signals by Jets coaches on New York's sideline during the season opener, the NFL has determined that the Patriots have violated rules governing the usage of video tape on sidelines, reports the NFL Network's Adam Schefter.

Schefter also reports that the league plans on summoning New England coach Bill Belichick to its offices in New York this week to discuss the matter, and that possible punishment being considered by the NFL include fines, loss of draft picks and suspensions.

The investigation was first reported by ESPN.com, which said that NFL security confiscated a video camera and tape from a Patriots employee during New England's 38-14 victory Sunday. The employee was accused of aiming his camera at the Jets' defensive coaches, who were sending signals out to the players, sources told the Web site.

"The rule is that no video recording devices of any kind are permitted to be in use in the coaches' booth, on the field, or in the locker room during the game," the league said in a statement from spokesman Greg Aiello. "Clubs have specifically been reminded in the past that the videotaping of an opponent's offensive or defensive signals on the sidelines is prohibited.

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What do you guys think of this? What kind, if any, punishment should the Patriots face? It's in clear violation of NFL regulations, but then again, so is talking about a broadcast of a game if the NFL says so (listen to their disclaimer during each game). All the talent on that team, and yet they cheat....? I don't think a whole season suspension is appropriate, but maybe it is so that the NFL can place a firm foot down that this type of action will not be tolerated. According to the article, there have been other times where the Pats were suspected of this; amazing that it took this long to finally catch them. There's supposed to be a decision on what will happen on Friday. I'm curious to see what happens as a result.

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i also feel a season long suspension is a bit overkill but i guess this is pretty serious stuff. i would like to see a loss of draft picks or something... not fines though, it should be something that will hurt them on the field

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I may be exaggerating but, this could be a serious issue; we can't underestimate the gravity of having a camera locked on the coordinators signaling field men, I wonder just how long they been doing this.

I didn't read this specific article, however I read one the other day on this issue, in 2006 the Green Bay Packers were aware of the Patriots engaging in this activity and had a guy on the Patriots sideline removed from the stadium with his camcorder. This was in 2006! Now we know this was being done in 2006, attempted in 2007, and it's likely 2005, but how much more? Will this blow into a Steroid-esque fiasco and a rush of Patriot Haters?

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The loss of draft picks is WAY to severe a punishment. IMO, since the Patriots were caught cheating in an effort to win the game, that game should be forfeited. The Patriots should be awarded a loss and they should stand at 0-1.

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The loss of draft picks is WAY to severe a punishment. IMO, since the Patriots were caught cheating in an effort to win the game, that game should be forfeited. The Patriots should be awarded a loss and they should stand at 0-1.

I think this is overlooking the fact that they have been accused of doing this now for much longer than this one incident.

If proven to be true, and based on how far back the accusations go, you can make the argument that their whole last season, should be forfeited.

So I personally believe loss of draft picks is more than fair, and actually perhaps giving it to them lightly.

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The loss of draft picks is WAY to severe a punishment. IMO, since the Patriots were caught cheating in an effort to win the game, that game should be forfeited. The Patriots should be awarded a loss and they should stand at 0-1.

Strike that post, missread the original.

They should also be handed a large points difference if that has any bearing on things.

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I think this is overlooking the fact that they have been accused of doing this now for much longer than this one incident.

If proven to be true, and based on how far back the accusations go, you can make the argument that their whole last season, should be forfeited.

So I personally believe loss of draft picks is more than fair, and actually perhaps giving it to them lightly.

I understand what you're saying, but there is a sort of statute of limitations as well. There has to be a line drawn on how far back you can go.

Revoking the Pats' win last sunday would be a just punishment because it's a set back that they can bounce back from even if they play fair for the rest of the season. The Patriots are good enough and their division is crapy enough that an 0-1 record would be an obstacle, instead of a roadblock. Which is what taking away draft picks would be.

Taking away draft picks would harm their chance next year. They would have a different team, different administration, different coaches, and possibly a different head coach. I don't think it's fair to automatically cripple their prospects for next season for one (that has been proven) incident of cheating.

Strike that post, missread the original.

They should also be handed a large points difference if that has any bearing on things.

I dunno what you were trying to get across here, so I got nothin :D

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I dunno what you were trying to get across here, so I got nothin :D

I originally posted "They lost the game anyway so forfeiting is pointless" or words to that effect.

Then I realised that I had misread the 1st post and they actually won the game, so I changed my post to say that if they were to forfeit the game, maybe give them a bad points difference i.e. make the game a "100-0" loss. I don't know if the points difference means abything at the end of the season or not.

In football (soccer), if two teams finish the season on the same number of points, goal difference comes into play and the team that has the best goal difference (goals scored minus goals conceeded) is higher in the table.

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I hope the NFL give the Pats a loss for Sundays game and gives the W to the Jets... with all of the bad press around the sports right now .. I can't believe teams are still doing $hit like this...

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I feel the Loss of Draft Picks won't be much a hindrance, since the Pats have been such a successful team their picks are usually late anyway. Ofcourse this does not include their opportunity to trade players for low draft spots.

I don't think the league would change the game result as that would affect the Pats, the Jets and finally the entire Division then the Conference.

They need to find out how many people knew this was going on and deal with them; it could get ugly for any Pats fans though.

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spacer brought up a good point about how this shouldn't affect what could be a different Patriots organization next year, so anything that is done should be done to the team as it stands today. A simple forfeit of the previous game is not enough.

Which constitutes more punish for a player, coach, or football organization?

1. Dating a cheerleader

2. Gambling on NFL games

3. Cheating during a game to give you an advantage you wouldn't normally have on your opponent

I'm not sure about #1, but #2 will get you suspended, if not banned from the NFL, and that's just gambling. Cheating? That's on a completely different plain and as such, should be means of punishment to the organization that will affect them for this season. True, they've been accused in the past, but never caught (ya know, charged but never convicted). As such, forgetting previous games (including the one this past Sunday), future games should suffer as a result. Whether it's playing the games without Belichick for the remainder of the season, or the Pats forfeiting the entire season, that's really up to Goodell at this point. By losing the rest of their games, however, should not equate to them getting first round choices because of being in last place. Rather they should be placed in seed #32, pushing the top 5-10 ranked teams up one. All this only if they were to forfeit the rest of the games. The Pats cheating like they did may not constitute an entire season thrown away, but it happened to the Duke Lacrosse team. Also, it's not only the video, there were a large number of radio frequencies going on with the Patriots, whatever that means. It's likely that communication was occurring between the sideline and players on field when it shouldn't have. Another no-no.

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I don't think they should get suspended. I do think they should have some of their draft picks taken away (and from what I've been hearing on ESPN, that sounds like the most likely punishment). If you cheat, you should be good enough that you don't need to pick top players out of the draft :p

Seriously though, I think taking away their draft picks is the way to go here. Suspending the club hurts the whole NFL as a lot of people enjoy watching them play.

-Spenser

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That's a good point. The repercussions of not having an NFL game would be pretty drastic. If I'm not mistaken, players are paid based on weekly play and performance, so by the Patriots forfeiting their games means no income from the games played at home and away, also would affect the payments to those players... yeah, that would be a bad call. Far too many side-effects from cutting off the rest of their season. Money will definitely play a part in this.

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Lifetime ban the responsible people. Coach, owner, whoever. That way only the people who are responsible pay the price.

Coming from a Patriot fan, I agree. Let the players play if they had nothing to do with it. No need to take a win away that the players earned, unless they were in on it too.

I can't imagine this is the only team to have done this.

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Is it only me that doesn't think that this is THAAAAAAT big of a deal? Video taping people on the sideline, big ****ing deal. Oh man, you might know the configuration of the defense for the next play, if you decipher'd their 40 different hand signals correctly.

They had people in the MLB who's main job was for them to steal signs of the other team.

And of course this crap had to happen to my team, in one of the most exciting starts to a season in years. (player wise)

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Is it only me that doesn't think that this is THAAAAAAT big of a deal? Video taping people on the sideline, big ****ing deal. Oh man, you might know the configuration of the defense for the next play, if you decipher'd their 40 different hand signals correctly.

They had people in the MLB who's main job was for them to steal signs of the other team.

And of course this crap had to happen to my team, in one of the most exciting starts to a season in years. (player wise)

I completely agree. I am from CT and was hoping this could be another 2001esque season. I understand that it's a rules violation but come on, this doesn't change the talent on the field...

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Is it only me that doesn't think that this is THAAAAAAT big of a deal? Video taping people on the sideline, big ****ing deal. Oh man, you might know the configuration of the defense for the next play, if you decipher'd their 40 different hand signals correctly.

They had people in the MLB who's main job was for them to steal signs of the other team.

And of course this crap had to happen to my team, in one of the most exciting starts to a season in years. (player wise)

are you serious??..... if you video tape the entire first half of the defense signals, study the info during halftime.... you dont think you would be able to pick your play based on what the defense is going to do?.... granted... the Pats are a very talented team... but to say that its not a big deal is crazy... trust me.. if the Jets won that game and it came out that they video taped the pats signals.... youd be crying for a forfeit...

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I don't think it's as big of a deal as some of you are making out, but it's not a minor problem.

Com'n, though... lifetime bans? Get real.

And I think some of you are taking this too lightly.... I mean.. have you actually thought about what this means.... are the Patriots the "dynasty" that everyone thought they were... they won what 3 or 4 SBs in the last decade?.... obviously all of this is speculation as too how far back they have been doing this... I also dont agree that some crazy punishment should be brought down that would hurt the rest of the NFL.. .but a loss from last weeks game is a MUST for me...

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I don't think it's as big of a deal as some of you are making out, but it's not a minor problem.

Com'n, though... lifetime bans? Get real.

Please. These people make millions of dollars, they are supposed to be the cream of the crop. The rewards are huge and the punishments should be also. This is no different than steroid use or having an extra player on the field during the game, cheating is cheating, and apperently this is not the first time the Patriots have done this. Someone in the Patriots organization made a decision, they and they alone should pay for it, not the players, the fans or the rest of the league.

Sports have really taking it on the chin as of late, the NBA had a referee fixing games, steroids in MBL, pro wrestlers are killing their families etc. This is the last thing the NFL needs. And the NFL has a tendancy to be very tuff with things like this. I bet the punishment handed down by the league will be severe.

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