From: Reuters
Published May 13, 2008 02:46 PM

Goodell says new Pats tapes do not add to Spygate

By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said on Tuesday there was nothing new in videotapes he received showing the Patriots taping opposing teams' signals and that no additional penalty against New England was being considered.

Goodell met for more than three hours with former New England video assistant Matt Walsh on Tuesday to go over eight videotapes he supplied the NFL and his experiences working for the Patriots from 1997 to 2003.

"I don't anticipate any further sanctions," Goodell told a news conference after meeting Walsh on what has been dubbed 'Spygate'. "What we heard and saw was fundamentally consistent with what we already knew."

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Patriots coach Bill Belichick was fined $500,000 last year for breaking rules regarding videotaping. The Pats were also fined $250,000 and forfeited a first-round draft pick.

The punishment was handed down after videotape was confiscated by the league following New England's 2007 season-opening game against the New York Jets.

Walsh, now an assistant golf professional in Hawaii, agreed to send the NFL tapes he had taken of opposing coaches' signals during games from 2000-2002 in exchange for a promise he would not face any legal action from the NFL or the Patriots.

"Mr Walsh is pleased with the opportunity to assist the National Football League in its investigation regarding the New England Patriots' videotaping practices," lawyer Michael Levy told reporters outside NFL headquarters after the meeting.

Walsh did not address reporters and Levy said they were heading immediately to Washington for a meeting with U.S. Senator Arlen Specter, a Pennsylvania Republican who has been critical of the NFL's investigation of New England's practices.

Asked if the Spygate controversy had been put to rest, Goodell said: "As I stand before you today, having met with Matt Walsh and interviewed over 50 people, I don't know where else I would turn.

"I reserve the right if new information comes up, I will look at it."

Goodell said his meeting with Walsh revealed two possible non-competition violations by the Patriots that would be looked into -- the practicing of a reserve player against NFL rules, and scalping of Super Bowl tickets by some Patriots players.

The scandal took a new twist the day before this season's Super Bowl when the Boston Herald reported the existence of more evidence and that an unnamed Pats employee taped the Rams' final walkthrough before the Super Bowl against New England in 2002.

Walsh's tapes did not include footage related to the Super Bowl win over St Louis and the former Pats assistant said that although he was on the field during the walkthrough to attend to his own preparations there was no videotaping done.

In 2002 New England, a two-touchdown underdog, defeated the Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI 20-17 on a 48-yard field goal by Adam Vinatieri as time expired .

(Reporting by Larry Fine, Editing by Clare Lovell)

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