The Ted Wells Report: Analyzing the Deflate Gate Investigation
Even though the season has been over for a few months now, the National Football League was hit with some shocking news this week, courtesy of prominent New York defense attorney Ted Wells.
Yesterday, Wells released a 243-page report summing up a 14-week investigation surrounding the involvement of some members of the New England Patriots football team in a scandal to use footballs that were not properly inflated during a championship playoff game this past January.
In the report, Wells concludes that it is more likely than not that members of the team were intentionally breaking league rules about tampering with game equipment. He also determined that Tom Brady, the Patriots' starting quarterback, was "at least generally aware" that rules were being broken by members of the Patriots staff. This is not the first time the Patriots have been accused of cheating. In 2007, the NFL fined head coach Bill Belichick $500,000 for videotaping the signals of opposing coaches during the game.
Background on Deflate Gate and the Ensuing Investigation
The Patriots beat the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship game on January 18, moving on to Super Bowl XLIX where they would go on to beat the Seattle Seahawks and become NFL champions. However, in the days after their victory over the Colts, rumors began to surface that some of the Patriots' staff members had been deflating footballs to give their team an advantage. In media interviews and public statements, the Patriots denied these allegations. Brady and Belichick both told the press that they were unaware of any wrongdoing by any members of the Patriots staff.
In the days and weeks after the story broke, new evidence surfaced quickly. A report emerged indicating that 10 out of the 12 footballs that the Patriots supplied the referees to use during the game were underinflated. On January 26, the league hired Ted Wells to begin his investigation. On January 27, ESPN reported that the league was investigating a video of a Patriots' locker room attendant who took all 24 game balls with him into a bathroom for approximately 90 seconds before delivering them onto the field.
What Ted Wells Found and How He Investigated the Patriots
While Wells' report does not conclusively declare that anyone in the Patriots' organization was guilty, it still doesn't look very good for New England. In his report, Wells called it "more probable than not" that the Patriots knew of some wrongdoing as it related to underinflated footballs. The Wells report also included text messages between members of the Patriots' staff that alluded to "getting the balls done" and mentioning the number "11," most likely as a reference to the PSI of the Patriots' footballs. The lowest acceptable amount of pressure in an NFL football is 12.5 PSI.
In the coming days, the NFL is likely to announce punishments for the New England Patriots. Because of the videotaping incident from 2007, some in the media are predicting that the league will come down hard on the team, especially coach Belichick.
Although his clients are much more prominent, Ted Wells is no different than many other defense attorneys who conduct investigations on behalf of their clients. If you are an attorney who needs to investigate a matter for a client or you simply want to look into a suspicious situation like the NFL did, calling a private investigator is one of your best options.
Why You Should Hire a Private Investigator for Serious Investigations
The NFL hired Ted Wells because of his reputation: the Harvard-educated lawyer has been called "the best defense attorney in the country." He also worked with the NFL before, investigating a bullying matter for the league in 2013.
Wells likely has a team of his own that helps with his investigations. The best private investigators can offer services like:
- Surveillance services: one of the most incriminating pieces of evidence in Deflate Gate was a video of a Patriots' ball attendant. Video footage can be a huge help if you need to prove something in court or find out about a person's behavior
- Running a complete background check: need to find out if a person has a criminal record? A complete background check will help you find out
- Taking legal statements from witnesses: attorneys have to present witness statements as a part of their testimony. A quality PI understands how to collect statements and present them in court, if necessary
When it's a serious investigation like the one the NFL recently concluded, you need a serious investigator. Retaining the services of a dependable private investigator is one of the smartest things you can do if you need answers to important questions.