Former Patriots videotape operator Matt Walsh, left, arrives at NFL headquarters in New York for a meeting with commissioner Roger Goodell, May 13, 2008.

Specter Wants Investigation of Spygate

May 15, 2008 07:14 PM
by Denis Cummings
Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter called for an independent investigation into the New England Patriots’ videotaping scandal a day after the NFL effectively ended its inquiry.

30-Second Summary

“Spygate” began in September 2007, when Jets coach and former Patriots assistant Eric Mangini accused New England of filming his team’s signals during their Week 1 game.

The NFL launched an investigation and found the Patriots had illegally taped the signals of the Jets and other teams over the previous seven seasons. The Patriots were fined $250,000 and stripped of a first-round draft pick, and coach Bill Belichick was fined $500,000.

The scandal dogged the Patriots during their undefeated regular season, reemerging just days before their Super Bowl loss to the Giants.

On Feb. 2, 2008, the Boston Herald reported that former Patriots video assistant Matt Walsh had taped the Rams’ pre-Super Bowl walkthrough from 2002.

On Tuesday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell met with Walsh, who handed over eight videotapes. However, Walsh didn’t tape the walkthrough, admitting only to watching it and taking notes. The Herald published an apology to the Patriots Wednesday.

Goodell then announced that the Patriots would receive no additional punishment, and the NFL had no plans to further investigate Spygate.

However, after a Tuesday afternoon meeting with Walsh, Sen. Specter declared that the NFL’s investigation had been neither adequate nor objective and demanded an independent investigation.

“If the commissioner doesn't move for an independent investigation,” said Specter, “then there will be a permanent black mark on the NFL and the Patriots' record will be historically tainted.”

Reaction to Specter has been mixed. Some applaud him for trying to uncover all the facts, and believe Walsh’s accounts should be investigated further. Others are tired of hearing about the story and want to move on.

Headline Links: Walsh meets with Goodell and Specter calls for further investigation

Reactions: Boston Herald apologizes and Walsh to appear on Real Sports

Background: Spygate

Opinion & Analysis: Should the investigation continue?

Reference: Super Bowl XLII and The Almost Perfect Season


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