The NFL has reportedly determined that 11 of the 12 footballs allocated to the Patriots in Sunday's win over the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship Game were under-inflated by two pounds of air.
In September 2007, the Patriots were found to have illegally videotaped defensive signals from the sidelines during a game against the New York Jets. The finding created speculation over how long the Patriots had been illegally taping opponents.
New England beat the Panthers, 32-39, in Super Bowl XXXVII in February 2004.
From the report:
"There isn't a day that goes by since [then] that I haven't questioned ... that there were some things done that might have been beyond the rules that may have given them a three-point advantage,'' Hurney said.
"And I can't prove anything, and that's why I'm very angry. And the anger has come back over the last couple of days that commissioner Roger Goodell decided to shred all of the evidence after 'Spygate,' because I think there were a lot of things in there that would bring closure to a lot of people.''
"They were 6-6 in the playoffs," he said. "Now they're getting to the Super Bowl and you're saying this is all behind them and this comes up. This isn't about deflating balls; this is about is there a culture of cheating that they'll do anything to get an edge.
"This is a bigger issue, and I think most people are missing the issue. It's an issue of if there is a culture of cheating at the organization that most people look at as the gold standard in this league. Is there a culture of cheating and breaking the rules?'
The Patriots will face the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl on Feb. 1.