Specter Presses NFL Commish on Spying Flap

Senator calls Pats case 'analogous to the CIA destruction of tapes'
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2008 1:57 PM CST
San Diego Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson (21) shakes New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick's hand, left, as Tomlinson turns to walk off the field after an NFL football game in Foxborough,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Arlen Specter wants to know why the NFL destroyed evidence of spying by the New England Patriots, the New York Times reports. The Republican senator from Pennsylvania says commissioner Roger Goodell will eventually be called to answer for the tapes' destruction in the context of the league’s antitrust exemption. Goodell defended himself today, calling his action "the appropriate thing to do."

After the Patriots were caught taping defensive signals during a September game against the New York Jets, the NFL fined them $750,000 and took away a first-round draft pick. The league then destroyed the tapes to prevent other teams from gaining competitive advantage. “That requires an explanation,” Specter said. “It’s analogous to the CIA destruction of tapes.”