The NFL told its game officials that there will be closer inspections of the game balls to make sure they are inflated properly for game use, reports FoxSports.com.
According to the report, starting this season, footballs will be checked randomly at halftime and after games, with pressure readings documented.
All footballs will be inspected by NFL officials, who then will hand them off to a kicking ball coordinator, who will hold on to the footballs until 10 minutes before kickoff. Both teams must supply 24 footballs to the officials locker room two hours and 15 minutes before the game.
The referee will appoint two members of his crew to inspect all footballs before the game. Last season, it was the referee’s responsibility to inspect every football.
Footballs must have at least 12.5 pounds per square inch of air and no more than 13.5 PSI. Any footballs that are outside of those numbers will be adjusted to 13 PSI.
The league started its investigation of the New England Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady after reports surfaced that the Patriots used underinflated footballs during their 45-7 AFC championship game win over the Indianapolis Colts.
As a result of Ted Wells's investigation, Brady was suspended without pay for the first four games of this upcoming season by the NFL, the Patriots were fined $1 million and will lose a first-round draft pick in 2016 and a fourth-round draft pick in 2017. Patriots owner Robert Kraft said the team would not appeal the punishment.
Brady is still awaiting a decision from the NFL on the appeal of his four-game suspension. The appeal was heard by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell despite the NFL Players Association’s request that he recuse himself from the proceedings.
- Scooby Axson