Elise Amendola
May 29, 2015

A person familiar with the situation says Tom Brady's appeal of his suspension in the deflated footballs scandal will be heard on June 23.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Friday because the date hasn't been officially announced. The New England Patriots quarterback was suspended four games after an NFL investigation found that he was ''at least generally aware'' of an illegal scheme to play the AFC championship game with improperly deflated footballs.

The Patriots were fined $1 million and docked two draft picks. Owner Robert Kraft said the team would accept the punishment.

Brady, a four-time Super Bowl champion and the face of the most successful NFL franchise of this century, has denied cheating. The NFL Players Association asked Commissioner Roger Goodell to step aside from the hearing. But Goodell plans to hear the appeal himself.

Troy Vincent, the league's executive vice president of football operations, issued the suspension to Brady. The three-time Super Bowl MVP has hired attorney Jeffrey Kessler, who has taken on the league in a variety of other cases through the years, and could take his case to court should his punishment not be reduced after appeal.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

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