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As Two-Time Violator Of Game's Integrity, Should NFL Suspend Patriots' Belichick From Super Bowl XLIX?

Stashed in: Football, football, Tom Brady, Patriots!, Bill Belichick

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First, whether they were using deflated footballs, under ripe oranges, or inflated beach balls, the New England Patriots are superior to the Indianapolis Colts.  They proved it earlier this season, they proved it last year in the playoffs, and they proved it again last Sunday.  Definitive victories in all cases, so DeflateGateultimately had no impact on New England returning to the Super Bowl for the 6th time during the Bill Belichick-Tom Brady era.

Second, if the Patriots knowingly doctored game balls during the first half of Sunday’s game (and the early evidence strongly suggest they did), and given their history as a “repeat offender” (i.e. Spygate) for skirting NFL rules, they need to be severely punished for brazenly thumbing their noses at the rules…including the consideration of suspending Coach Belichick from Super Bowl XLIX for failure to exercise institutional control over the entire incident, whether he authorized the deflation of balls or not.

At the end of Spygate, the NFL fined Belichick $500,000 (the maximum allowed by the league and the largest fine ever imposed on a coach in the league’s 87-year history at the time before the penalty levied on Sean Payton discussed below) for his role in the illegal video incident, fined the Patriots $250,000, and docked the team their original first-round selection (i.e. the 31st pick) of the 2008 draft.

But despite these being the stiffest penalties – at the time – imposed upon a franchise and coach for violating the integrity of the sport, the penalties were obviously not strong enough to deter the organization from defrauding the game’s integrity yet again.

As a two-time offender of league rules in which a team is trying to game the system, there is a brazen lack of respect for the integrity of the sport and the spirit of fair play.  As such, the just punishment is one which is more severe than the last one handed down.

Would I think the punishments would be too harsh if the decisions were to:

- Suspend Belichick from Super Bowl XLIX

- Fine Belichick and the team to the maximum limits allowed by the NFL’s Bylaws

- Take the team’s first two draft picks in the 2015 draft.

- Take $10-20 million away from their 2015 salary cap?

If they do not make an example of Belichick then they're inviting other teams to cheat, too.

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