Local legal expert weighs in on "Deflategate"

Sep 5, 2015

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady won his day in court against NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Brady had been suspended from play for the first four games of the coming season due to his suspected involvement in what has become known as Deflategate, an equipment tampering case. Nellie Drew, an adjunct professor of sports law at the UB School of Law, says that the decision sets an interesting precedent.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell
Credit Internet Photo / WBFO News

"The judge was apparently less than enamored of the NFL's arguments. So, I wasn't overwhelmed when the decision came down because the indications seemed to be going that way. However, as a practical matter, it is highly unusual for a District Court to overturn an arbitration decision because it is the result of a collectively bargained process."

The league is planning to appeal the decision, but that process could extend through the 2015 season. Brady had been accused of complicity in the deflation of footballs used in a playoff game last January.

Some believe that the loss in court greatly weakens the hold that Goodell has on his position as Commissioner.